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Medicaid Reform Commission moves future hearings from rural areas.

September 30, 2005
By: Jade Mingus, Dustin Blanchard
State Capital Bureau

The Senate Medicaid Reform Commission has moved the rest of their public hearings to Jefferson city.

Dustin Blanchard tells us why democrats say the move discriminates against the poor.

Senate Republican leadership moved the Medicaid hearings from rural Missouri to the capitol.

Democratic Representative Margaret Donnely is upset -- she says Republicans are silencing the voices of poor rural Missourians who can't afford the drive.

Actuality: Margaret Donnely
RunTime:
OutCue:
Contents: "Those people have not had a chance to travel to present to us before. Those areas have been very hard hit by the cuts, they're challenged by having access to healthcare, and we feel it's very important that we listen to them."

Republican Senator and Commission chairperson Charlie Shields says the move is neccessary because of time constraints -- he says they have just three months to finish their reccomendation

And he stresses people can still file their complaints in writing.

From the state Capitol, I'm Dustin Blanchard

*****

The Medicaid Reform Commission moved public hearings from areas around Missouri.

Jade Mingus tells us why they made the move, and why democrats are mad.

Story:
RunTime:
OutCue: SOC

Republican Senator and Commission chairperson Charlie Shields says it was vital to move the hearings from rural Missouri back to the state Capitol.

He says the commission is running out of time to finish reccomendations before their January 1st deadline.

Actuality:
RunTime:
OutCue:
Contents: "The fact that we've had numerous hearings, I think that we can move forward with this last hearing with public testimony in Jefferson City, and have our last two hearing dates dedicated to filing the report."

Democratic Representative Margaret Donnelly disagrees.

She says the move silences the voice of rural Missourians who can't afford to drive to the hearings in Jefferson City.

From the state Capitol, I'm Jade Mingus.