Nixon invites Missouri lawmakers to Medicaid discussion

Wednesday, November 6, 2013 | 9:45 a.m. CST; updated 12:00 p.m. CST, Wednesday, November 6, 2013
Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon speaks Thursday at the Cape Girardeau Area Chamber of Commerce. Nixon talked about his proposal to expand Medicaid coverage to 300,000 more people in Missouri, using $5.7 billion in federal money, a plan endorsed by the Cape Girardeau chamber earlier this week.

JEFFERSON CITY — Gov. Jay Nixon is proposing a Thanksgiving week meeting with Missouri lawmakers to discuss potential changes to the Medicaid health care system.

Nixon wants to meet Nov. 26 with members of House and Senate interim committees who have been studying potential Medicaid changes ahead of the 2014 session. The governor says he wants to talk about ways to "provide better outcomes for patients and better returns for taxpayers."

The Democratic governor says Missouri's Medicaid system will be one of the most pressing issues before the Republican-led legislature next year.

Earlier this year, the legislature rejected Nixon's proposal to expand Medicaid to more lower-income adults under the terms of the new federal health care law. Republicans legislative leaders say they want to revamp Medicaid before considering an expansion.

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Michael Williams November 6, 2013 | 10:57 a.m.

This newspaper lauds itself for a commitment to local stories.

This community, consisting of Columbia and Boone County, has an economy mainly dependent upon a big three: (1) medical, (2) insurance, and (3) universities.

Two of these 3, and maybe even all three, stand to be impacted...good or implementation of the ACA.

SERIOUSLY impacted.....good or bad.

Yet, what do we get in the way of Missourian stories on this topic?

Not a damned thing.

This community wants to know HOW we will be impacted, what's happening at our hospitals, what's happening in our doctor's offices, what's happening with local individual insurance policies, what do the new policies look like, what are the deductibles, what hospitals are "in-network" and what are not, which doctors are in network and which are not, what's up with the BJC system, and the like.

Where the hell are the stories? We're ONE month into this thing, and we are getting squat from the deemed #1 journalism school in the country....a group whose stated commitment is local.

And this topic is about as local, and important, as you can find!

Are all of the available contacts farther away than a reporter's cycle can go for an interview?

Send someone with a car.

Or, there's always the telephone or internet.

But DO something!

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith November 6, 2013 | 11:53 a.m.

News of significant higher education matters appears to stop short of public university campuses located in Kansas City (~125 miles), St. Louis (~125 miles), Rolla (exactly 95 miles, campus to campus) and Kirksville (~100 miles). That pretty well defines west, east, south and north boundaries. Any other questions?

I would like to defend the Missourian on one matter: considering the vast amount speculation now present in so-called Obamacare the Missourian may be doing us a favor by not adding to that confusion. Much "information" now being circulated may be proven incorrect.

(Report Comment)
Joy Mayer November 6, 2013 | 12:00 p.m.

@Michael Williams, thanks for the feedback. I'll share it with our health editor, Katherine Reed. The topic is so important.

— Joy Mayer, Columbia Missourian

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams November 6, 2013 | 1:37 p.m.

Ellis, "the Missourian may be doing us a favor by not adding to that confusion."

Well, that's a point. In the last week, I've talked to 3 physicians and 1 chiropractor, plus a daughter who is a nurse within the BJC system.

None of them knew squat. None of them knew how the ACA would impact their practices.

Fact is.....that lack of knowledge is (or should be) a story all by itself.

We're one month into this thing and we have a bunch of practitioners who don't know squat. Same thing with consumers. It's looking like we have to DO this thing so we'll know what's in it.

Where are the local reporters? Where are the local journalists? Where are the local editorialists? If nothing else, THEY should be interested in this for no other reason they just might be impacted, too. To me, any healthcare investigative reporter who ends up surprised (good or bad) at this is NOT doing their job....for themselves, AND us, their consumers.

Missourian: Last I heard, if a person has an individual policy (or exchange policy) with Anthem, he/she can still go to Boone Hospital, but he/she will be considered out-of-network which, of course, means a higher personal bill. Does this still apply to doctors affiliated with Boone?

What does this mean for folks in Columbia/Boone County who get onto an individual Obamacare policy with Anthem as the carrier? Can you say "higher deductible" and "higher out-of-pocket" even though their policies may be heavily subsidized by the feds. Subsidies do NOT go towards deductible payments; there is still a fee at the doctor's office until that deductible is met. So far, the lowest deductible I've seen on an individual policy hereabouts is $6300 and out-of-pocket is twice that.

Can you say, "Stay healthy, my friend?"

(Report Comment)

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