Lawmakers’ debate over Missouri Medicaid tax, family planning drags on

Missouri News

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Work on the Missouri Senate floor to renew a tax that brings in a critical chunk of the state’s Medicaid funding was delayed for hours Friday as lawmakers fought over proposals to limit family planning services.

Republican Gov. Mike Parson called lawmakers back for the last-minute special session after threatening to cut $722 million from the state budget July 1 if lawmakers don’t re-up a tax on hospitals and other medical providers by then. Money from the tax is used to bring in more federal Medicaid funding.

But senators disagree over a proposed amendment to the tax bill that’s aimed at cutting off Medicaid funding for some family planning services.

Republican Sen. Bob Onder wants to cut off any government money for Planned Parenthood.

Republican Sen. Paul Wieland wants to block Medicaid coverage for the morning-after pill and intrauterine devices when used for abortions.

“There’s about 75 birth controls and devices that are in the state Medicaid program, there’s 5 of them that we know can destroy human life,” Wieland said.

But Planned Parenthood and several gynecologists have told lawmakers those treatments are not used to end pregnancies.

“There’s nothing more horrific or personal than a government inserting its big hands of government into a woman’s womb,” State Sen. Jill Schupp, D-Creve Coeur, said.

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