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Politics

Blunt Discusses Insure Missouri Program

http://ozarkspub.vo.llnwd.net/o37/KSMU/audio/mp3/bluntdiscu_1241.mp3

Governor Matt Blunt was in Springfield today to talk about the new Insure Missouri plan to provide health coverage to low income families and individuals who are employed. KSMU's Missy Shelton reports.

Enrollment in the Insure Missouri program begins next month and Governor Matt Blunt is traveling the state this week to talk about it.

During a visit to the Westside Public Health Center in Springfield, Blunt said the program will help more than 54 thousand working Missourians in its initial phase.

Participants will have either no co-pays or low co-pays, depending on their income. In order for the program to grow, lawmakers will have to authorize the next phases. The bulk of the funds for the program will come from federal sources but the state will contribute revenue as well. There's been a mixed response from the General Assembly. Some lawmakers are enthusiastic about Insure Missouri while others are more cautious. Notably, there's concern from the Republican Representative who helped create the new Medicaid program last year...Representative Rob Schaaf has told reporters that he plans to holding hearings on Insure Missouri. Blunt says he's aware of Schaaf's plans.

Blunt says Insure Missouri may provide coverage to a few of the people who lost coverage as a result of Medicaid cuts he signed into law several years ago.

Democrats say Insure Missouri does not go far enough in providing health coverage to those who need it.