Governor Agrees To Call Special Session Over Medicaid Work Incentive
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
July 12, 2006
JEFFERSON CITY, MISSOURI--Responding to pressure from disability rights advocates, Governor Matt Blunt said Wednesday that he would support a special legislative session to address the need for workers with disabilities to continue receiving Medicaid benefits -- if the issue of Medicaid fraud were also addressed.
"If the House were to tell me that they are ready to pass a strong Medicaid fraud bill similar to the one the Senate passed and that I supported, I would be willing to call a special session to deal with both issues," he said.
Blunt cut funding two years ago for the Medical Assistance for Workers with Disabilities program, which had granted health benefits to about 3,000 working Missourians.
Under current Medicaid guidelines, workers with disabilities can lose their medical benefits after earning above a certain amount over a specific amount of time. Disability rights advocates have pointed out that this creates a disincentive to work for a population that already has the highest rates of unemployment .
Richard Blakley, executive director of the Disabled Citizens Alliance for Independence, told the Associated Press that restoring the work incentive program would "bring back hope for many and jobs for thousands."
"Missouri governor open to session for Medicaid program" (Associated Press via Kansas City Star)