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Legislative Session Update - Week 5

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MO Rx
House Appropriators are looking for funds to restore the MO Rx program to the over 60,000 older Missourians who were cut off the program three years ago. Representative David Wood (R-Versailles), Chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Health, Mental Health and Social Services, has indicated that he is willing to restore the program and now needs to find the funds to pay for it.

Changing the Rules for Medicaid Expansion
This week, the House Committee on Health and Mental Health held a hearing on House Joint Resolution 92, which proposes a Constitutional Amendment to require that any health care related amendment to the Constitution would require a 2/3 vote.

While this amendment is obviously targeted at the Medicaid Expansion Initiative, it is a short-sighted knee jerk reaction that could have drastic consequences in the future. If the voters wish to take action on reducing the cost of prescription drugs, increase access to long term care, or demand oversight of bad actors in health care, they would find making those changes to the Constitution nearly impossible.

The House Committee is expected to vote on HJR 92 in their meeting on Monday at noon.

Amendment Hinders Nursing Home Investigations
The House Committee on Health and Mental Health amended House Bill 1484, a bill that would allow for multi-disciplinary teams to investigate elder abuse. The amendment they added, which was proposed by lobbyists for nursing homes, would actually make it nearly impossible to prosecute nursing homes that abuse their residents.

While we did not get to see the language before the vote was taken in committee, we will be reaching out to the sponsor, Representative Holly Rehder (R-Sikeston), and urging her to remove the amendment before a vote is taken on the floor of the House. If the amendment is not removed, it would be better if the legislation didn’t pass at all.

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