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      Dems walk out of Missouri Medicaid meeting

      Democratic lawmakers have walked out of a Missouri Senate committee considering changes to the Medicaid program because Republicans aren't proposing expanded eligibility.

      The three Democratic members of the Senate Interim Committee on Medicaid Transformation and Reform rose from their seats and left the room Wednesday as the panel started discussing its recommendations.

      A draft report prepared for the Republican-led committee includes as its first recommendation that Missouri should expand managed care in its Medicaid health care program for the poor.

      Democrats said they didn't want to consider any of the recommendations unless the committee was also willing to look at expanded eligibility for low-income adults.

      Committee Chairman Gary Romine, a Republican from Farmington, said he wants to first improve the current Medicaid program before considering whether to enlarge it.