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Missouri House Speaker Praises Medicaid Cuts

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CBS St. Louis (con't)

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JEFFERSON CITY, MO (KMOX) - With the future of Medicaid one of the major issues facing the Missouri legislature, the Speaker of the House is harkening back to the days of Republican Governor Matt Blunt and his major cuts to the program.

“They went over like a lead balloon in the short term, nobody’s criticizing them now,” House Speaker Tim Jones (R-Eureka) said.

Jones says that’s because the cuts have saved the state $2 billion. He has appointed three fellow Republicans to look at the state’s Medicaid program and says any changes this time don’t have to necessarily include cuts.

“I believe there’s still a of waste and abuse in the system, a lot of duplication of services. We can redirect those in a more efficient way,” he said. “I want that money to be available for those who truly need it and not able-bodied adults who simply just want to go on welfare rolls.”

Jones wants Governor Jay Nixon to seek a federal Medicaid waiver and wants federal officials to give Missouri a block grant so it can customize its program.

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