Wednesday, May 06, 2009

After Healthcare Defeat, Dems Explode

The Missouri House shot down Governor Jay Nixon's plan to expand healthcare to low-income parents Wednesday, reigniting a partisan firestorm and raising questions about whether lawmakers will meet a Friday deadline to pass a balanced budget.

The 85 to 75 House vote rejected a conference committee report, sending both chambers back to the negotiating table. Nixon's plan would be funded with $53 million from hospitals and $94 million from the federal government. Late Wednesday, there was no agreement on the specifics. But Missouri House and Senate negotiators said they would keep working on a proposed $147 million health care expansion. Republicans feared that changing eligibility standards could lead to higher costs down the road. In an interview with The Notebook Rep. Eric Burlison called the Democrats case "disingenuous." (MORE BELOW)
"By voting today against providing health care to 35,000 Missourians at no extra cost to the state, House Republicans rejected a plan that would have pumped $145 million in new money into our economy at no cost to taxpayers. While this proposal to spur economic growth through health care expansion enjoyed broad bipartisan support in the Missouri Senate, the Missouri House let flawed ideology stand in the way of progress. House Republicans should explain to Missourians immediately why they allowed politics to interfere with our state’s opportunity to make health care more affordable and accessible," Gov. Nixon said in a statement.

MINORITY LEADER LEVOTA: "The ridiculousness of the House Republican position is exceeded only by its cruelty," said House Minority Leader Paul LeVota.

MO. BUDGET PROJECT: "In the case of this bill, our legislators decided that health care coverage for struggling Missouri moms and dads was not even worth doing for free," said director Amy Blouin.

MO. DEM PARTY RELEASE HEADLINE: "Vulnerable House Republicans cast vote in favor of their own 2010 defeat. Legislators stick with GOP suicide pact." The release lists Springfield #136th District Rep. Eric Burlison as one of the "vulnerable House Republicans" who voted against healthcare expansion.

BURLISON'S RESPONSE: "At the end of the day, I felt the way this was being sold was disingenuous. The more that we inject federal dollars into healthcare costs, it does nothing to reduce actual costs so more people can afford it. The hospitals are more dependent on government under this plan. The hospitals will have to increase what other people pay, in order to pay for this," said Rep. Burlison, who works in healthcare.

"You're essentially expanding welfare to able-bodied individuals who are just not working full-time jobs. Instead we would like to cover people willing to pay for healthcare, but don't have an insurance company that's willing to cover them because of pre-existing conditions," Burlison said in an interview.

1 comment:

gumshoe said...

"You're essentially expanding welfare to able-bodied individuals who are just not working full-time jobs."

How long is the Missouri House in session... January to the end of May?

I'd love to work six months and have the kind of benefits Mr. Burlison has.