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44 Americans infected, but not all show signs of coronavirus illness; and many NC counties declare themselves 'Second Amendment sanctuaries.'

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Nevada's experiment with early caucusing is underway until tomorrow. Some candidates plus some Nevada Culinary Workers Union Local 226 members oppose Medicare for All, but Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders defends it, with a study just published making the case for it.

Proposed Medicaid Increase Could Be Booster Shot To Missouri’s Economy

December 15, 2008

Jefferson City, MO - Congress is finalizing details of a $500 billion economic stimulus package that is likely to include additional federal funds for state Medicaid insurance. Health care advocates applaud this action as a quick injection of money to nurse Missouri's ailing budget. The state is facing a $342 million shortfall for the next fiscal year, and the "triage" of federal funds to match the state contribution toward Medicaid could be as high as $370 million.

Some delegates think Medicaid funding should be cut in an effort to balance the state's budget. But Andrea Routh with the Missouri Health Advocacy Alliance says those additional federal dollars would be a shot in the arm for the health care industry and the state's economy, because they would create jobs.

"If we cut Medicaid back, not only do we not draw down our federal dollars, but Missouri's share of the federal stimulus package dollars will end up going to other states."

Routh says with unemployment growing in the state, thousands more will qualify for Medicaid. The potential increase in federal funding would cover some of those who lost their health insurance when they lost their jobs.

Currently, the federal government match is $1.64 for every $1 Missouri contributes through the Medicaid Matching Fund. The proposed increase would add eight cents, bringing the federal match to $1.72.

Margaret Donnelly, with Governor-elect Jay Nixon's transition team, says the increase would take some pressure off the state's budget.

"It also would free up general revenue that could be invested in education and some of the other supportive services, such as mental health and in-home care."

The economic stimulus package currently being crafted will be considered by Congress in January.


Laura Thornquist, Public News Service - MO