Medicaid allowances should be the same

One legislator stood up for Medicaid allowances; saying the cost should be equal for all.

Rep. Ray Weter (R-Nixa) presented Senate Bill 418 to the House Senior Citizen Advocacy Committee on April 18.

The bill would raise the monthly allowance of persons receiving Medicaid at a supplemental nursing care program from $25 to $30 a month. Currently anyone receiving Medicaid at a nursing home already receives $30 a month, but those living outside nursing homes only receive $25.

Weter said the two allowance amounts are always raised separately so the bill also includes language that would marry the two after its passing. Then the amount would be raised across the board instead of needing two separate pieces of legislature to do so.

“We think this is something that should have been done a long time ago,” said Sen. Norma Champion (R-Springfield)

She said the $5 increase may even benefit assisted living residents more because they are more mobile and may need the money more.

“They can get out and do more,” Champion said.

Weter said the recipients may only use the money for something simple like cable, phone service or a haircut, but at least it’s something.

“Some of them can even go out and get lunch if they want,” Weter said.

And not even all of the assisted living residents are senior citizens, some are younger people with disabilities that have no resources and can’t work.

But no matter who they are, Weter and Champion believe they are entitled to just as much of an allowance as Medicaid recipients in nursing homes. The rest of the committee must have thought so also because immediately after the hearing the committee went into executive session and passed the bill unanimously.