Missouri senator delays vote on health tax extensions

A Missouri senator pushing for broader changes to the health care system has delayed a vote on legislation needed to secure about $3 billion annually for the state’s Medicaid program.

At issue is legislation extending for five years a series of special health care taxes that are scheduled to expire Sept. 30. The taxes on hospitals, nursing homes, pharmacists and others are used to draw down federal Medicaid money that is then paid to those health care providers through various programs.

Some senators argue the tax extensions are essential for the Medicaid program and Missouri’s budget.

But Republican Sen. Rob Schaaf (shahf), of St. Joseph, prevented the bill from reaching a vote Tuesday. Schaaf is pushing several proposals, including one requiring estimated health-care costs to be posted online.

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Health tax bill is SB322.

Online:

Legislature: http://www.moga.mo.gov

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