Missouri Gov. Matt Blunt says he wants to reduce the state’s franchise tax for employers that provide health coverage for employees.

The health coverage deduction could eliminate the franchise tax for about 87% of Missouri employers, Blunt, a Republican, said earlier this week during his State of the State address, according to a written version of his remarks.

Blunt also talked about changing Missouri laws to make employer-sponsored health coverage easier to take from one job to another; creating a health insurance purchasing pool for individuals without health coverage; encouraging the federal government to adopt a national association health plan law; allowing employers and employees to pay health insurance premiums with tax-free dollars; and allocating $20 million to implement these proposals and others.

Missouri’s single-state association health plan program has cut premiums 40% to 50% for some small employers, Blunt reported.

Blunt wants to make long term care insurance premiums 100% tax-deductible, and he also wants to update the state’s Medicaid health insurance program for the poor to provide expanded wellness and disease management services along with performance-based compensation for providers.

Medicaid members would get incentives to improve their own health, Blunt said.