Blunt Focuses on Medicaid Overhaul, Health Care in State Address

Kansas City, MO – Missouri Governor Matt Blunt dedicated almost half of his State of the State address last night to his plans for improving health care. KCUR's Kelley Weiss reports.

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Governor Blunt says he wants to replace what he calls the outdated and inefficient Medicaid system that serves the poor and disabled with a new state health plan called Missouri HealthNet.

Matt Blunt: "What I propose with Missouri HealthNet is not a minor reform. It is an entirely different system. It will stand apart from what any other state has done or is doing."

Blunt says the plan will use state tax breaks and subsidies to help some of Missouri's 700,000 uninsured get coverage. The new health system, Blunt says, will give patients better access to preventative care and encourage personal responsibility.

The governor did not mention restoring benefits to the almost 100,000 people cut off Medicaid in 2005 but is proposing $60 million go to community health clinics serving low-income Missourians. Blunt also wants to increase funding for autism services, mental health and in-home care for seniors as well as making long-term care more affordable.

Funding for health care coverage on KCUR has been provided by the Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City.

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