Mo. Senate endorses tax extensions for Medicaid

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) -- State senators on Tuesday endorsed a two-year extension of more than $1 billion of taxes on health care providers to help fund the Medicaid health care program for the poor.

The state imposes special taxes on hospitals, nursing homes, pharmacies and health care management firms, which together generate nearly $1.1 billion annually. The state then uses that money to drawn down an additional $1.8 billion in Medicaid money from the federal government.

That pool of money then is paid back to health care providers who treat people on the Medicaid program.

The bill, given initial approval by a voice vote, would extend the expiration date of the taxes until June 30, 2009, instead of this June 30. Lawmakers have routinely extended the taxes' expiration each of the past several years.

The legislation needs a second Senate vote to move to the House.

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