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MO Budget Project: Repeal-Replace "Throws Baby Out With Bathwater"

The Missouri Budget Project argues that investments in public services create the foundation on which families and communities can thrive. (Steve Buissinne/Pixabay)
The Missouri Budget Project argues that investments in public services create the foundation on which families and communities can thrive. (Steve Buissinne/Pixabay)
September 26, 2017

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Thoughtful, bipartisan collaboration is what's needed to improve the U.S. health-care system. That's the perspective of the independent Missouri Budget Project, which argues that a complex problem can't be addressed by a strategy that they say "throws the baby out with the bathwater."

Project executive director Amy Blouin says Medicaid works and so does the Children's Health Insurance Program or CHIP. She says the root causes of high-cost health insurance are found elsewhere.

"Pharmaceutical companies, for instance, that develop a drug and charge thousands of dollars each month to access a drug," she says. "That's not sustainable."

Blouin cites research from the Kaiser Family Foundation that estimates that about 500,000 Missourians would lose coverage under the Graham-Cassidy bill being considered this week by Congress. In addition, the research indicates that Missouri would lose approximately $700 million in funding by 2027.

Proponents of the latest repeal-and-replace legislation say it gives states more flexibility in creating their own systems while helping ensure more fiscal responsibility at the federal level. But Blouin argues that health care is far too complex to address with a rushed approach.

"I don't think that any of our senators probably set out to hurt people, but the proposal is being forced and therefore has consequences that I don't think are well thought through," she explains.

Blouin notes that more than 900,000 Missourians rely on Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program.

Kevin Patrick Allen, Public News Service - MO