[Missouri-l] Blind Missouri residents following budget debateFundsfor health care services are at stake
julia.chinn at att.net
Thu Apr 26 09:16:18 CDT 2012
Oh my goodness!! I hope I didn't say "hooray!" too soon. You are right,
Denny. We do still have a lot to do, yet.
From: missouri-l-bounces at moblind.org [mailto:missouri-l-bounces at moblind.org]
On Behalf Of Denny Huff
Sent: Thursday, April 26, 2012 5:36 AM
To: ew at moblind.org
Subject: [Missouri-l] Blind Missouri residents following budget
debateFundsfor health care services are at stake
As you can see from this news article we certainly have our work cut out for
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
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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