Friday, December 07, 2007

Nixon Calls For Reinstating Medicaid Cuts, Expanding Eligibility

"You bet the money's there."
Blunt camp calls plan a $1 Billion Dollar Tax Hike
On Eckersley, says Gov. Blunt should apologize
"I won't be caught in a Scott Eckersley situation."

Attorney General and Democratic candidate for Governor Jay Nixon said Friday that if elected, his top priority would be restoring all of the state Medicaid cuts made in 2005.

You can watch my KY3 News @ 10 report HERE.

Nixon then went further and said he would work to expand eligibility for low-income and disabled residents willing to work and contribute to the state taxbase.

"If you work and are willing to work, you should be rewarded for that conduct, not penalized for that conduct," Nixon said, while he was meeting with a half of dozen people who were forced from the Medicaid rolls back in 2005.

"You certainly have to expand eligibility back to people, especially people who are willing to work because you get something for that," he added. "It's a mess, it's just a mess."

John Hancock, spokesman for Missourians with Matt Blunt, called Nixon's proposal "fundamentally flawed."

"To do what Jay Nixon is proposing would cost almost $1 billion dollars in new tax revenue. Missourians can't afford that. There is no reform proposed in what Jay Nixon is offering," Hancock said in a telephone interview.

Nixon swiftly dismissed the charge that a drastic tax increase would be needed to restore thousands to the rolls. "We got the money. The money's there. Do we have the money to leave $200 million dollars in a budge surplus sitting in a bank account up there. Do we have that money? You bet we do. It's sitting there," he said.

Nixon, clearly animated by the question, went on. "Matt Blunt and the Republican legislature kept $200 million in the bank last year. Look at it, they clearly said that. They are not going to spend that money. They're going to save that for the election year so they can hand out a few goodies and make people feel like things are getting better. You bet the money is there."

Hancock said ultimately, the Medicaid issue would help Blunt politically and sink Nixon.

"I think the people in that room today, when Governor Blunt's plan is fully implemented, they are going to be very thankful," Hancock said. When I asked him why they'd be thankful for a change that kicked them off the system, Hancock implied they could eventually be covered under the Governor's revamped plan. "There will be more and more Missourians covered than ever before, and more and more people, including those people, are going to have access to health insurance," Hancock said.

When asked how he would handle the Scott Eckersley situation the current Governor is going through, Nixon dismissed the hypothetical.

"I wouldn't be in this situation right now, because when my lawyer comes to me and tells me something is the law, I don't fire them. I listen to them," Nixon said.
Nixon said Gov. Blunt fired Eckersley because "he didn't like the answer he got" about record retention. "They had been destroying records, so he fired his deputy counsel."

On how he would be different than Blunt: "I wouldn't do that. I would listen to people that were telling me the law. So there is no Scott Eckersley-Jay Nixon hypothetical."

Nixon said the Governor should apologize for firing Eckersley and move on to talk about issues.

"I don't know why the Governor can't do the simple thing of apologizing, following the law and moving forward. I don't know why he has to make everything so partisan. He's fighting his own people on this one. I won't be caught in a Scott Eckersley situation," Nixon said.


Sherry said...

Mr. Catanese,

Why don't you ask Hancock where he got the 1 billion number? On November 9 on your blog a spokeswoman for the Department said the cost would be $218 million which is pretty close to Nixon's number. I am not a hard core Democrat but it is clear that Blunt is going to say anything to attack Nixon even if it contradicts numbers put out by his own agency. The truth is that we can restore the more than 100,000 people to health care that Blunt kicked off three years ago after promising he wouldn't without any kind of tax increase. Only Matt Blunt's warped notion of politics stops him from doing what is the right thing.

greenrichardg said...

I was one of "those people", as refered to by John Hancock, at the meeting with Jay Nixon regarding Missouri's discriminatory health care program designed by Matt Blunt. MOHealthnet does nothing to address the high "spenddown" requirements to obtain coverage. As a single father of three on disability due to Multiple Sclerosis, Matt Blunt wants half of my income each month in order to have MOHealthnet. Needless to say I can not afford the eligibility requirements set forth by Matt Blunt. So as a person who worked for over twenty years for a company in Springfield I am now in the population of tens of thousands of the uninsured in Missouri. In fact I was fired due to my disability and the high costs I was becoming to my past employer due to my health care claims. I wonder if John Hancock would "thank" his employer for charging him half his income each month for health care like Matt Blunt is charging me? As one of "those people", Mr. Hancock, I do not "thank" you. In fact I challenge you to stop discriminating against the elderly, disabled, low income and children of Missouri and let us have health care at a reasonable and humane way. Mr. Catanese, Matt Blunt ad John Hacock, to say our health care system is "bloated" is simply just a lie. Missouri has the second worst health care coverage in the country, refer to, and our uninsured rate is three times higher than the national average. So, Mr. Hancock I say "thanks for nothing"! I'll say "thank you" to our next Governor, Jay Nixon, when he fixes Matt Blunt's inhumane decisions and makes health care available to the people of Missouri.

Bob said...

I'm a quadriplegic paralyzed from the shoulders down. After my injury, I realized that I had to work extremely hard to make it in life. I went back to school and used a stick in my mouth to type my college papers. Nothing was handed to me. After I graduated, I looked for years for a job and finally an independent living Center hired me to counsel people after their injury at a rehab center. Everything was going good up until 2005 when Matt blunt proposed to have the Medicaid cuts. Because of that, I lost my job, Medicaid also quit paying for necessities like wheelchair batteries, and breathing equipment at night.

I do not feel "thankful" for the Medicaid cuts.

My neighbor has MS and his wife has a very significant disability as well. They must now pay more than $1000 to Medicaid to keep their health care as a direct result of the 2000 by Medicaid cuts. My other neighbor has been in bed for more than two years because of pressure sores and he must pay a huge spend down to keep his health care. He's now planning to leave the state because of the Medicaid cuts.

There are thousands of stories similar to this. We are not thankful for the Medicaid cuts because they were devastating. Shame on Matt blunt and John Hancock for their insensitivity on top of their terrible policies that have hurt people.

Terry Blunk said...

I as a registered voter would like to see SOMEONE ask some questions about the Pass I.D. card for all Americans that will have to be carried in order to buy or sale. It would hold all Americans financial info, including every monetary transaction, it would include all personal info, such as D.N.A., fingerprints,also, it would contain a tracking device to allow OUR government to know where we are at all times, anywhere on the planet. This goes against everything America stands for, steps on my constitutional rights and slaps in the face everyone dead or alive that has fought for our freedom.I, personally, along with a multitude of my fellow registered voters and veterans will not accept this.The vote is on Sept. 6 please bring this to the public, the healthcare reform is just a smokescreen. We the people demand the truth. Thank you concerened citizen of America