Press Releases

Resolute Missourians to Illuminate Human Cost of Failure to Expand Medicaid

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.

  • What: Vigil for Medicaid Expansion with 1,500 luminarias covering the south side Capitol steps
  • When: Thursday, May 16, 2013, 8:30 p.m.

What Missourians Are Saying About Expanding Medicaid

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.”  

Faith Leaders, Community Leaders, and Consumers Speak Out in Support of Medicaid Expansion

On Wednesday, Thursday and Friday grassroots leaders and organizations will hold press conferences to kick off a statewide campaign to expand Medicaid in the state.
 
The proposed expansion has already received support from individuals and groups such as Governor Nixon, members of the General Assembly, and the Missouri Hospital Association. This week we will add the voices of Missouri's families, many of whom struggle to obtain affordable health coverage. These press conferences will kick off the efforts of dozens of groups from around the state to ensure the voices of working Missourians are heard.
 
Speakers will share information about the expansion and hear from faith leaders, community leaders, and affected consumers why expanding Medicaid is both the right thing to do and the smart thing to do.
 
The state of Missouri has an opportunity to expand Medicaid coverage to Missourians making up to 138% of the Federal Poverty Level. Federal funding will cover the costs of this expansion for the first three years and the state of Missouri will never pay for more than 10%. Estimates are that this expansion would allow more than 250,000 uninsured Missourians to gain coverage and create more than 24,000 new jobs in Missouri. However, the state legislature must act to extend this critical coverage to Missouri families.