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Disabled Missourians Protest Medicaid Cuts

Several hundred disabled Missourians came to the capitol Wednesday to protest Medicaid cuts and other proposals they say will harm disabled individuals. KSMU's Missy Shelton reports from Jefferson City.

A parade of people marching and people in wheelchairs made their way around the outside of the capitol building.

The demonstration was part of an event aimed at bringing attention to disability issues, primarily the Medicaid cuts that Republicans lawmakers passed and Republican Governor Matt Blunt signed into law.

Speaking to several hundred people assembled on the south lawn of the capitol, Democratic Senator Pat Dougherty railed against the cuts.

Comments like these from democrats angered some Republican lawmakers.

Republican Representative Chuck Portwood.

Portwood is sponsoring a bill that would restore some of the cuts to the ticket-to-work program.

He says that what Republicans did last year was necessary to improve the Medicaid system.

Portwood says Republicans, not democrats are trying to make life better for the disabled.

But democrats say what Republicans are doing this year is too little too late.

Again speaking to the assembled crowd on Wednesday, Democratic Senator Pat Dougherty cited some statistics.

Senators are now working on the budget...the House approved a budget on near party line votes that increases money for Medicaid but doesn't restore healthcare coverage to all those who lost it last year.