Mo. House Democrats hold informal hearing on state Medicaid enrollment decline

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- Rep. Crystal Quade, D-Springfield, wants an official investigation to find out why over 90,000 children and 23,000 adults have been dropped from Missouri's medicaid coverage in the last year.

"This is an issue we need to continue talking about," Quade said.

Some lawmakers did in Jefferson City Thursday -- although mostly all were Democrats.

"Nearly 100% of them still qualify, [for medicaid]," Quade added.

"It seems like the legislature in Missouri is doing everything to help those who are already doing just fine and leaving out all the poor people who are struggling," said Ken Horgan, who made the drive from Mountain View, Mo. for the informal meeting.

The director of Missouri Medicaid, or MoHealthNet, responded to a letter from Quade by pointing to a strong economy, more people on private insurance, and many going without insurance all together.

The former chairman of the MoHealthNet Oversight Committee told us those talking points don’t add up.

"Missouri has a great economy," said Timothy McBride. "3.3-percent unemployment, but we certainly aren't the best in the country and yet our children's enrollment is dropping five or six times the rest of the country."

Instead, testimony from people who work in healthcare tells a different story.

"We've heard that it's an array of letters being sent to wrong addresses, people turning in their documentation and the department just not having [those documents]," Quade said.

Quade added it's not going to be a simple fix, but urges the General Assembly to do something to try.

"We need to make sure the folks who qualify for medicaid are receiving it, but we need to also figure out what is happening on the front end so we can prevent this in the future," Quade added.

Two republican representatives did attend Thursday's meeting, Representatives Mike Moon of Ash Grove, and Andrew McDaniel of Deering.

There were no representatives with the Department of Social Services in attendance.