[Education and Welfare] Blind Missouri residents following budget debateFunds for health care services are at stake
ethomas at lhbindustries.com
Thu Apr 26 06:30:40 CDT 2012
I sent Steven Tilley an email stating how disappointed I am that he's only appointing members who are against restoring medicaid to the blind. Here's his information bellow.
MO House of Representatives
201 West Capitol Avenue
Jefferson City MO 65101
Legislative Assistant: Leann Hager
E-Mail: Steven.Tilley at house.mo.gov<mailto:Steven.Tilley at house.mo.gov>
Sent from my iPhone
On Apr 26, 2012, at 5:36 AM, "Denny Huff" <dhuff at moblind.org<mailto:dhuff at moblind.org>> wrote:
As you can see from this news article we certainly have our work cut out for us.
Blind Missouri residents following budget debateFunds for health care services are at stake
Vivian Marshall, 78, is blind and receives a monthly pension of $707 from the state, as well as health care coverage.Marshall, who lost her eyesight to a retinal disease, would experience a reduction in that medical coverage under a budget proposal supported by the Missouri House. She would keep it under a proposal supported by the Senate."Financially it would be terrible," said Marshall, who would still have coverage but would have to pay extra medical expenses.Marshall and other blind Springfield residents have traveled to Jefferson City and Columbia to lobby lawmakers to continue their coverage. The $28 million program covers about 2,858 blind Missouri residents whose individual annual income of more than $9,495 would otherwise be too high for them to qualify for Medicaid.They had turned to state Rep. Sara Lampe, D-Springfield, the ranking Democrat on the House Budget Committee. But Lampe said she was told Wednesday that she won't be included on the committee of House and Senate members that is expected to come up with a compromise budget.Lampe said House Speaker Steven Tilley told her she wouldn't be included because she wouldn't support cutting the health care coverage."He said, 'Are you going to vote the House position?'" Lampe said. "I said, 'No.' He said, 'Well, you're not on the committee.'"David Willis, Tilley's chief of staff, said Lampe will be on the conference committee for 11 of the 13 bills involved in the budget but not likely on the one that deals with health care coverage for the blind."That's the standard procedure," Willis said. "That's the way the budget has always been done. The House has already taken a position on that issue. We need people on the conference committee who can support the House."Chris Gray, the executive director of the Missouri Council of the Blind, said reducing the coverage would push some people into nursing homes and increase visits to hospital emergency rooms."Their income puts them just above the Medicaid threshold," Gray said. "Missouri has always helped them."Gov. Jay Nixon has supported the program."For decades, Missouri has provided this efficient and compassionate program that offers essential health care services for blind Missourians with very limited financial means," Nixon said Wednesday. "I urge the General Assembly to send me a budget that maintains full funding for this vital lifeline."Marshall said she lost her eyesight gradually to a retinal disease. For years, she was in a research program that was testing a medication.She lives independently but, like many blind people, has added expenses such as transportation and household help. Some of the blind people in the Springfield area turn to area food pantries.Marshall has been closely following the General Assembly's deliberations on her health care program."If it isn't left like it is, it's going to be really hard on a whole lot of people," Marshall said.
Denny Huff- President
Missouri Council of the Blind
P: (636) 262-1383
TF: (888) 362-1383
F: (314) 558-0298
Phone Cast: (816) 298-8969
DHuff at MoBlind.Org<mailto:DHuff at MoBlind.Org>
The purpose of Missouri Council of the Blind shall be to promote the general well-being of our members and legally blind people in Missouri, and to support
or participate in other programs promoting the best interests of legally blind people everywhere.
ENCOURAGEMENT FOR THE JOURNEY
Your host: Denny Huff
SUNDAY MORNINGS AT 8:00 AM CST
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EW at moblind.org<mailto:EW at moblind.org>
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