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Missouri Grappling with In Home Health Care Funding

Some Missouri residents who rely on any type of in-home care support that is paid for through Medicaid services may be unable to get the help they need if funding is not restored. Legislators failed to override a veto from the governor that would have provided $35 million for in-home and community-based healthcare services.

The attempt to override the veto was not even close, failing at 49-106. Some lawmakers, including Rep. Deb Lavender, D-Kirkwood, claimed that this funding was essential for the most vulnerable population in their state that would have allowed them to continue living independently and maintaining a higher quality of life.

Advocates for the funding claim that the governor, Eric Greitens, through his veto, essentially put more than 8,000 men and women in harm’s way, potentially threatening their lives if they can’t afford adequate care and support.

On the other side of the political spectrum, though, those who were opposed to this funding bill state there has to be a better solution that is affordable and will help these seniors and disabled adults continue receiving care well into the future. In many states, not just Missouri, budgets are stretched to their limit and with the federal government continuing to trim Medicaid reimbursement for home care support services, they are having a difficult time figuring out the best way to pay for it over the long-term.

As reported by Kathryn Hardison and Soo Rin Kim in the Missourian article, Lawmakers back to drawing board in funding in-home health care:

“Rep. Martha Stevens, D-Columbia, also voted to override the veto.

“I’m disappointed that there’s about 8,000 low-income seniors and adults with disabilities who want to remain in their homes and in their neighborhoods and age in place, and they need a little bit of help,” Stevens said. “We have such an aging population in the US, and that trend is going to continue, so we have to start preparing for that.”

As for the working group, Stevens says she is “cautiously optimistic.”

“I’ll believe it when I see it,” she said. “In the meantime, individuals and families are going to suffer in every community.”

Home health care across the country is viewed as one of the most important topics because the baby boomer generation is now retiring and there are going to be a significant number of new seniors and others who will rely on the services. Without proper funding that can be sustained over time, these men and women may not get the support they need and while these types of legislative fights seem black-and-white, cutting through the propaganda means focusing on solutions that might provide better long care opportunities for those in need.

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