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Gov. Nixon: Mo. Must Reform Medicaid in 2014

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- Gov. Jay Nixon said resolving to reform Medicaid in the state of Missouri is an important part of his agenda for 2014.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- Gov. Jay Nixon said resolving to reform Medicaid in the state of Missouri is an important part of his agenda for 2014.

“Tomorrow, nearly 300,000 working Missourians will continue to be uninsured," Nixon said in a speech in Jefferson City on Tuesday.

"Tomorrow, moms with breast cancer, dads with heart disease, young adults with mental illness, will go another day without the treatment they desperately need, for no other reason than they live in Branson instead of Bentonville, in Cape Girardeau instead of Cairo, Maryville instead of Muscatine," he said.

Nixon said 4.4 million uninsured Americans in states across the nation will be eligible for basic health care because of $37 billion in tax dollars given to 25 states that are reforming their health care systems.

He said $2 billion of that money comes from Missouri tax dollars, but none of it will go to the Show Me State.

"Because of the legislature’s inaction on Medicaid, here in Missouri, 2014 will start in a different way," he said. "“Tomorrow, Missouri families and businesses will continue to pay federal taxes, but instead of coming back to Missouri, those tax dollars will be spent in other states: $2 billion a year, $5 million every day."

Nixon said Republicans and Democrats in Arkansas, Illinois, Iowa and Kentucky worked together to make reforms.

"They’re using market-forces to modernize what had been outdated and inefficient health care systems, and improve outcomes and reduce costs for everyone. And unless we change course, they’re going to do all this with our tax dollars – while Missouri gets left behind, " Nixon said.

The governor said Missouri must resolve to pass a bill that brings tax dollars home to strengthen and reform Medicaid "the Missouri way."

“The stakes are high. The choice is clear. And time is running short. We can – we will – we must get this done this year,” Nixon said. 
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