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Democrats push for special session on working disabled

By Bill Raack, KWMU

St. Louis, MO. – Democratic legislative leaders are calling for a special session this fall to deal with reinstating health benefits to the working disabled in Missouri.

The minority floor leaders in both the House and Senate have started circulating petitions among lawmakers Thursday that would allow for a special session if signed by 75-percent of the legislature.

Democratic Representative Jeff Harris of Columbia says the issue is too important to wait until next year.

"These people can't wait," Harris said. "They need their health care now and we should be encouraging people now and creating incentives for people now to go to work and have jobs and have health care with their employment, as opposed to forcing them into nursing homes."

Harris says the Medical Assistance for Working Disabled program was dismantled last year as part of sweeping Medicaid cuts but funding for the program was included in the new state budget.