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Missouri Senate votes to renew key tax for Medicaid funding

June 26, 2021 GMT

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri senators passed a bill to renew a key tax for Medicaid funding early Saturday after hours of debate over coverage of family planning services.

The GOP-led Senate voted 28-5 to send the bill to the House.

Senators were able to advance the bill after some Republicans joined with Democrats to vote down a proposal that sought to cut off any government money for Planned Parenthood.

Missouri already bans any Medicaid funding from being used to pay for abortions. But the Missouri Supreme Court last year overturned another provision in a state budget law forbidding Medicaid reimbursements to any Planned Parenthood clinic, even those that don’t provide abortions.

Several Republicans raised concerns that blocking all Medicaid funding for Planned Parenthood, without first getting a waiver from the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, could violate federal rules and put billions of dollars in federal Medicaid funding at risk.

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The latest version of the bill also includes a ban on Medicaid spending on any medications or devices “used for the purpose of inducing an abortion.”

Republican Gov. Mike Parson has threatened to cut $722 million from the state budget July 1 if lawmakers don’t reup the tax on hospitals and other medical providers by then.