Debate Underway on Medicaid Overhaul

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri senators began debate on overhauling the Medicaid health care program for the poor.

Governor Blunt and Republican legislative leaders have made health care one of their top priorities this year.

Their bill would rename Medicaid ``MO HealthNet.'' It would place more low-income people under a managed health care system. It would reward people for trying to be healthy, and it would pay doctors based on their performance.

The legislation changes how health care would be delivered to Medicaid recipients. But it does not restore coverage to most of the people whom Republicans cut off Medicaid two years ago.

Medicaid once enrolled more than one million Missourians. It now serves about 825,000.

Senators quit for the day yesterday without voting on the bill.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)