FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 7, 2017
Missouri Senate Stops SB 28
Missouri Senate fails to advance dangerous bill to cut Medicaid
Faced with widespread public outcry, the Missouri Senate today brought up SB 28 for debate and then laid the bill over onto the informal calendar without taking a vote.
Under SB 28, Missouri would seek a “block grant,” meaning the state would only get a pre-set amount of money from the federal government for our Medicaid program, regardless of actual health care costs, even in an unexpected emergency such as a flu pandemic or natural disaster. Under recent federal block grant proposals, the state would see a 30-40% decrease in federal funding within 10 years.
“Any attempt to finance Medicaid through a block grant or per capita caps will lead to cuts to health care for our state’s most vulnerable citizens,” says Crystal Brigman Mahaney, Deputy Director of Missouri Health Care for All. “It is no wonder, then, that Missourians from across the state have spoken out against SB 28.”
Jen Bersdale, Executive Director of Missouri Health Care for All, notes that public pressure and bipartisan opposition helped stop a bill once called unstoppable. “Supporters of SB 28 realized today that they could not advance the bill in light of the opposition to it.”
Health care consumers, supporters, and advocates cheered today’s victory but cautioned that the fight is not over. SB 28 remains on the informal calendar and could be brought up again any time before the end of the Missouri legislative session in Mid-May. In addition, Missouri faces the threat of block grants or per capita caps imposed by Congress.
Bersdale said, “Today is a major victory for Missourians. We also hope that today marks a turning point when our elected officials will begin to work with advocates on real solutions that strengthen our health care system.”