As state legislatures gear up for a trying year, bills need to be greenlighted for open discussion on the floor of their respective chambers and the first in Missouri to get through the vetting process has been SB (Senate Bill) 567, which could impact seniors and their ability to rely on some level of in home care support services.
The Ozark Radio News website reported in the short blog, Senators debate in-home healthcare legislation:
“Making changes to in-home healthcare for certain Missourians is among the first measures to be given the green light for full Missouri Senate focus.
This past week, Senate Bill 567 was voted “do pass” by the Missouri Senate Seniors, Families and Children Committee.”
According to the Missouri state government’s accounting page listing the details of this proposed legislation:
“This act also requires the Director of the Department of Revenue to calculate the amount of tax credits claimed under the Senior Citizens Property Tax Credit during calendar year 2016 as such program existed on January 1, 2018, and subtract from such amount the amount of tax credits which would have been claimed in such year under the provisions of this act. Such difference shall annually be deposited in the Missouri Senior Services Protection Fund. By July 1, 2018, the Treasurer shall also perform a one-time transfer into the Missouri Senior Services Protection Fund of $2 million from the Nursing Facility Quality of Care Fund, $1.5 million from the Healthy Families Trust Fund, $1 million from the Life Sciences Research Trust Fund, and $1 million from the Missouri Public Health Services Trust Fund. (Section 208.1050)
The Department of Social Services shall expend the funds appropriated by in section 11.470 of CCS/SCS/HCS/HB 11 (2017) to increase the MO HealthNet fee-for-service reimbursement rate to nursing homes by June 30, 2018. (Section 1)
The Department of Health and Senior Services shall expend the funds appropriated by in sections 10.806 and 10.810 of CCS/SCS/HCS/HB 10 (2017) to increase the MO HealthNet fee-for-service reimbursement rate to home and community based providers by June 30, 2018. (Section 2)”
The primary focus on the legislation would be to lower property tax credits as a way to free up money that the Department of Social Services and the Department of Health and Senior Services could appropriate them for other options, including home health care.
This is a prime example of how the government will manipulate certain provisions and shift resources around to support some programs. While home care is a growing need for seniors and disabled adults, lowering the property tax credit for senior citizens in the state appears to be a desperate grasp at a short-term solution to what will be a long-term problem.
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