Senator John Rizzo Files Legislation to Extend Missouri’s FRA without Blocking Birth Control or Risking Health Care Funding

JEFFERSON CITY — State Sen. John Rizzo, D-Independence, has filed legislation to extend Missouri’s Federal Reimbursement Allowance (FRA) program, an extension that has been signed into law by the past three administrations. The legislation introduced by Sen. Rizzo does not include any prohibitions on birth control or birth control providers. Senator Rizzo’s “clean FRA” bill differs from versions filed by other senators, as some of those versions contain language that would block women on Medicaid from accessing birth control. No such birth control prohibitions were included in previous extensions, including those signed into law in 2018, 2019 and 2020.

“The other proposals introduced by some of my colleagues to block birth control for women on Medicaid could potentially jeopardize billions in health care funding, while also increasing the number of unplanned pregnancies among the Medicaid population,” Sen. Rizzo said. “I will not support legislation blocking birth control for women, and I am offering a path forward that protects health care funding, has bipartisan support and has been done before. This ‘clean FRA’ is the only thing guaranteed to protect Missouri’s entire health care system.”

Missouri’s FRA program assesses hospitals a fee, which is used to earn federal Medicaid matching funds. The governor signed a clean FRA (SB 29) in 2019 and again in 2020 (HB 2456). Former-Gov. Greitens signed a clean FRA (SB 775) in 2018. The FRA was put in place by former-Gov. John Ashcroft in the early 1990s.

Current language in several of the extra session FRA bills deviate from previous FRA legislation as these proposals would block women on Medicaid from accessing birth control. Such prohibitions on birth control and birth control prescribers would put Missouri out of compliance with the federal Medicaid program and potentially forfeit federal Medicaid matching funds. In FY 2020, Missouri’s FRA program generated $1.59 billion in General Revenue and an additional $3.07 billion in federal matching funds ($4.66 billion total) for Missouri’s Medicaid program. The governor has released a list of budget cuts that would be immediately necessary if the FRA funding streams are lost.

On Wednesday, June 23, the Missouri Senate convened an extra legislative session to consider FRA legislation ahead of the governor’s July 1 deadline.

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Author: Editor
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