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Missouri Governor Parson calls special session for Medicaid funding fix

FILE - In this Jan. 27, 2021 file photo, Missouri Gov. Mike Parson delivers the State of the...
FILE - In this Jan. 27, 2021 file photo, Missouri Gov. Mike Parson delivers the State of the State address in Jefferson City, Mo. Missouri is clashing with the U.S. Department of Justice over a new law banning police from enforcing federal gun rules. In a letter obtained by The Associated Press, Justice Department officials wrote that state lawmakers went too far with the law and noted that federal law trumps state law under the U.S. Constitution's Supremacy Clause. In response, Parson and Attorney General Eric Schmitt wrote a defiant letter stating that they still plan to enforce the new law. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson, File)(Jeff Roberson | AP)
Updated: Jun. 22, 2021 at 12:10 PM CDT
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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri Gov. Mike Parson announced in a tweet on Tuesday he is calling a special session beginning noon Wednesday so lawmakers can pass a tax on medical providers that draws down a significant amount of federal Medicaid funding.

“After laying out the grim reality of our state’s financial future if FRA is not extended, I believe legislators have now agreed to a compromise that will end this stalemate, so today I am announcing a special session to begin tomorrow at noon,” Governor Parson said. “We appreciate the continued efforts of House and Senate leadership to work with us towards a solution, and we are thankful that we are now in a position that warrants a call to special session.”

At issue is an effort by some Republican lawmakers to stop Medicaid coverage for some contraceptives. Parson, a Republican, says time is running out for lawmakers to cut a deal and protect the funding.

“Let me be clear, now is a time that demands leadership among legislators and not an opportunity to play games with billions of dollars and millions of livelihoods in pursuit of narrow political interests,” Governor Parson said.

During the legislative session that ended May 14, lawmakers proposed banning Medicaid coverage for “any drug or device approved by the federal Food and Drug Administration that may cause the destruction of or prevent the implantation of, an unborn child.”

Fighting over the proposed ban derailed a bill that would have extended the medical providers tax. Without an extension, the tax will expire Sept. 30.

Parson on Monday threatened to cut $722 million from the state budget July 1, including close to $182 million in state funding, if no deal was reached.

The cuts would be widespread across many key state government programs. Some of the largest planned cuts would strip $166 million for developmental disability caregiving, $88 million for nursing homes, and $20 million that was set to pay for school busing.

The special session will focus on extending certain allowances, taxes, and assessments that fund the MO HealthNet program. Specifically, Governor Parson’s special session call is to:

  • Extend the expiration of the ground ambulance service reimbursement allowance
  • Extend the expiration of the nursing facility reimbursement allowance
  • Extend the expiration of the Medicaid managed care organization reimbursement allowance
  • Extend the expiration of the FRA program
  • Extend the expiration of the pharmacy tax
  • Extend the expiration of the intermediate care facility for the intellectually disabled assessment
  • Prohibit abortifacient drugs and devices
  • Prohibits funding for abortion facilities under the Uninsured Women’s Health Program
  • Allow the Senate to consider appointments that require the advice and consent of the Senate

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