Gov. Jay Nixon has signed legislation expanding prenatal health coverage and allowing some newly trained doctors to go to work more quickly.
Bills signed today would create the "Show-Me Healthy Babies Program" to provide insurance for pregnant women who earn too much to qualify for traditional Medicaid but don't have affordable private-sector insurance.
The program is projected to cover more than 1,800 people at an annual cost of $14 million. Similar programs are in place in at least 15 states.
The bill also creates a classification of "assistant physicians" who have graduated from medical school but have not completed residency training. They would be allowed to start seeing patients in areas where there are doctor shortages. The legislation also extends an existing senior prescription drug program to August 2017.