JEFFERSON CITY, Mo.– It’s day three of the Missouri special session in Jefferson City where lawmakers are working to renew a tax that funds the state’s medicaid program.
The debate continues to be over if some contraceptives like Plan B should be covered under medicaid and if abortion facilities should receive any state funding.
State Sen. Paul Wieland, R- Imperial, said, “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.”
Democratic State Sen. Lauren Authur, D- Lee’s Summit, defended her stance.
“IUDs prevent pregnancy, they are birth control. Planned B prevents pregnancy, its birth control,” said Sen. Arthur.
And the clock is winding down as Governor Mike Parson gave a deadline of July 1 or else face budget cuts.
The governor called the special session to renew the Federal Reimbursement Allowance Tax but the hold up is what should be covered under Medicaid.
“Protects Missouri taxpayers from being forced to fund abortion providers or their associates,” said State Sen. Bob Onder, R-Lake St. Louis.
The tax is paid by healthcare providers and funds the state’s Medicaid program.
“There’s nothing more horrific or personal than a government inserting its big hands of government into a woman’s womb,” said State Sen. Jill Schupp, D- Creve Coeur.
While across the aisle senators want limits on contraceptives and restrictions on healthcare centers under subsidized health care.
“All it does is says in our medicaid program, and that’s the part that taxpayers pay for. When we pay for a prescription drug, we don’t want it to kill a human life,” said Sen. Wieland.
The goal is for senators to give their final vote sometime this weekend. Then the house will come in next week.
If the tax is not renewed the governor says it would cost the state more than $1.4 billion over two years.