JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Some Democratic Missouri lawmakers on Monday tried to revive efforts to prevent cuts to in-home and nursing care for the elderly and disabled by asking the state not to seek federal approval to slash the program and calling on lawmakers to go against the governor and protect funding.
At issue is money for in-home and nursing care services through a Medicaid program for about 8,300 seniors and disabled people that faces cuts during the tight budget year.
The Republican-led Legislature in May passed a bill to restore funding by allowing the state’s administration commissioner to take up to $35.4 million from unspent money in dedicated funds in order to maintain the current level of in-home and nursing services.
But Republican Gov. Eric Greitens in June vetoed the bill, which he called “an unconstitutional, one-time, fake fix to a real problem.”
In response, three House Democrats after a public hearing Monday asked the state not to request a federal waiver from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to cut the Missouri program. Democratic St. Louis Rep. Peter Merideth and others also said lawmakers should try to override Greitens’ veto.
If funding is cut, Merideth said people who have been getting services could instead wrack up costly hospital visits.
Lawmakers have a chance at overriding the governor in September, but it’s unclear whether there will be enough support if it comes to a vote. The measure passed the House with some Republican support but not with enough votes for an override.