The Kansas City Star, April 11, 2012

A lawsuit challenging how Missouri awarded more than $1.1 billion in Medicaid contracts is scheduled to be heard in court this week amid allegations of political favoritism, and now the issue could become the focus of a legislative inquiry. At issue is why the state effectively fired California-based Molina Healthcare—a company that has held the contract with the state for 16 years—and replaced it with Centene Corp., which has not held a Medicaid contract in Missouri since it withdrew from the market in 2006. Centene also has been a major donor to Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon, giving rise to concerns that the company benefited from a close relationship with the executive branch.

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