Jefferson City – As legislators in the General Assembly finishes a legislative session defined by their failure to expand Medicaid for working Missourians, frustrated citizens will gather on the steps of the Capitol to light 1,500 luminarias to represent the lives that would be saved every year if legislators fully expand Medicaid to 138% of the federal poverty level.
Community leaders, students, faith leaders, farmers and impacted consumers from across Missouri today expressed support for Governor Jay Nixon’s call to expand Medicaid in his annual State of the State request.
Jeannie Coley, impacted consumer from Mexico, MO:
“If Medicaid were to be expanded in Missouri, my husband, daughter and I will finally all have access to the health insurance coverage we so very much need and that we are unable to afford right now. And, hopefully the hospital in Mexico (Audrain Medical Center and Arthur Center) will be able to remain open to offer services much closer for us and keep our friends and neighbors jobs secure.”
Ralph Winslow, impacted consumer from Kansas City, MO:
“I cannot afford preventative care. I want access to preventative care because I know it is the right thing for me and my community. Expanding Medicaid would give me the peace of mind that I can continue to be a healthy contributor to my community and that I won’t need to choose between taking care of my health and paying my bills.”
Margot McMillen, family farmer from Callaway County, MO:
“Rural Missourians are less likely to have health insurance and are more likely to have significantly lower incomes than our urban counterparts. Under the current program, Medicaid is only available for families making less than $290/month for a family of three. Many hard-working farm and rural families make more, but not enough to afford decent health insurance. Medicaid expansion would increase this limit to about $2,200 a month for a family of three.
In Northeast Missouri alone, more than 27,000 Missourians, including working families and the self-employed, could gain coverage reducing the area’s uninsured rate by 28 percent.”
Judith Gallagher, nurse practitioner from St. Louis, MO:
“One in seven Missourians are currently uninsured. These aren’t people trying to get free rides from hardworking taxpayers, these are hardworking taxpayers.”