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Healthcare a Dominate Issue of Legislative Session

As Missouri lawmakers prepare for their annual Spring Break which begins Thursday, a children's advocacy group is calling on them to increase funding for the state's healthcare program for children. KSMU's Missy Shelton reports.

The group Citizens for Missouri's Children estimates 190 thousand children are uninsured.

Beth Griffin is the group's executive director.

She says she wants lawmakers to increase funding and eligibility for the state's healthcare program for children, MC Plus.

Some state lawmakers say advocacy groups use inflated figures when discussing the number of uninsured children and adults in the state.

Springfield Republican Representative Bob Dixon says he believes those numbers ought to be put in perspective.

This session, lawmakers are considering whether to cut taxes.

The organization Citizens for Missouri's Children is opposed to tax cuts...They say the legislature should use any excess money to fund healthcare.

Beth Griffin cites a recent study that shows Missourians prefer to fund healthcare rather than tax cuts.

Lawmakers like Representative Bob Dixon say they're skeptical of the poll results.

Dixon says he believes tax cuts are the right way to stimulate the economy and bring more dollars to the state for things like healthcare.

Healthcare coverage continues to be a major issue this legislative session.

Earlier this week, the Missouri House gave first round approval to a bill that would reduce and eventually repeal the franchise tax for businesses that pay at least half of the healthcare premium costs for full time employees.