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Groups have different ideas about tobacco tax proposals

By Matt Sepic, KWMU

St. Louis – Two Missouri health groups hope to raise the state's tobacco tax by 80 cents to fund Medicaid. But they want to put two competing proposals on the ballot.

A coalition of hospitals and health groups wants to raise reimbursement rates for doctors.

And a group called the Missouri Alliance for Health and Justice wants to restore recent cuts to Medicaid. That group filed its proposal Monday.

Former State Senator Wayne Goode is with the Alliance. He says the two groups could not come to a compromise. "We are still hopeful that we can get together and have one issue on the ballot," Goode said. "We think that would be best. But that issue needs to provide health care for low income people as is contained in our proposal."

Both groups want to bring their proposals to voters in November.

Even if either one passes, there is still no guarantee the legislature would put the money toward Medicaid.