[Missouri-l] What's Behind Recommending Budget Cuts Affecting Missouri's Blind?
basil05 at sbcglobal.net
Thu Mar 1 05:31:55 CST 2012
Rick Burch here.
Where is Sue Allen getting her facts? We all know that the state is facing
a deficit. Are they cutting this benefit in order to save the taxpayers
money? We all know that's not true. Representative Tom Flannagan has
stated that he is trying to cut the money from social programs, such as the
medical benefit for the blind and services for poor children in our state.
He wants to take that money and put it in higher education. If you are
going to tell falsehoods, you should hav the courage to get up and tell the
ouri-l-bounces at moblind.org [mailto:missouri-l-bounces at moblind.org] On
Behalf Of Denny Huff
Sent: Tuesday, February 28, 2012 6:10 PM
Cc: ew at moblind.org
Subject: [Missouri-l] What's Behind Recommending Budget Cuts Affecting
State Representative Sue Allen
Missouri State Representative, R-92
What's Behind Recommending Budget Cuts Affecting Missouri's Blind?
As most people in the state of Missouri are aware, the state faces a massive
budget deficit in the next fiscal year of around $500-700 million. However,
the state is constitutionally required to have a balanced budget every
The process of getting from a $500 million deficit to a balanced budget is a
difficult process. In preparing Missouri's annual budget, various House
Committees prepare annual allocation recommendations for the Budget
Committee. These recommendations are then considered in total in the House
which is charged with creating the state's annual budget.
The House Appropriations Committee on Health, Mental Health and Social
Services evaluates spending on state programs which comprise the largest
annual spending evaluated by any Appropriations Committee.
To make cuts that would minimize the impact on those most in need, the
Appropriations Committee on Health, Mental Health, and Social Services
each department's "core budget" which is often overlooked. The committee
also tracked appropriations spent and withheld by the governor over the past
years to create a trend analysis and to see where programs consistently
One of the more controversial decisions we had to make was regarding the
"State Medical" line item, which affected medical benefits to some blind
Part of this program provided medical payments to legally blind citizens who
would not otherwise qualify for Medicaid because they have too large an
income to qualify for Medicaid.
This does not affect blind individuals who otherwise qualify financially for
Medicaid or who qualify for other medical care assistance. This cut also
not affect the monthly cash benefit paid to blind citizens, age 18 or older,
from the Blind Pension Fund or any of the many other programs the state
for the benefit of its blind citizens.
A list of all aid programs available to the blind
can be found here.
Each member of the House Appropriations Committee on Health, Mental Health
and Social Services was asked prior to the commencement of the committee
to present the committee chairman with a list of programs which the member
would request be prioritized.
Once this recommendation reaches the Budget Committee, all increases and
decreases will be open to debate among the committee members.
The State Medical program will be re-evaluated to determine whether it is a
goal of the state of Missouri to cover medical costs for all blind Missouri
citizens regardless of the level of their income.
Perhaps some of the cost savings from means testing can be used to provide
greater benefits to blind Missouri citizens who truly need more help. We
there may be some federal programs that blind citizens may be eligible for
to help ease this elimination.
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
<mailto:DHuff at MoBlind.Org> 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
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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