Missouri has an unprecedented opportunity to expand Medicaid to provide health insurance to adults who earn up to 138% of the federal poverty level, or about $26,000 for a family of three.
Being able to see a doctor is a basic right. However, more than 850,000 Missourians currently have no health insurance. Expanding Medicaid will allow 300,000 of our hardworking neighbors to gain insurance. A recent study shows that expanding coverage could even save the lives of as many as 15,000 people.
Missouri currently makes it harder than almost any other state to qualify for Medicaid. Under today’s rules, a single mother of two can’t qualify for basic health care through Medicaid if she makes anything more than $3,504 per year – just 18% of the poverty line.
If we can spend hundreds of millions on tax breaks for big corporations, we can make a serious investment in ensuring that all Missourians have access to affordable health care.
Expanding Medicaid is also good for our hospitals and economy. This expansion would save and create jobs, bring federal investment to the state, and prevent the closure of many rural hospitals.
Missouri can expand Medicaid at very little cost to the state. In fact, the federal government will pay 100% of the costs through 2016, and Missouri will never pay more than 10% after that. Expansion is a good deal for Missouri.
The Missouri General Assembly must act to pass this Medicaid Expansion. They failed to do so in the 2013 legislative session. Our legislators need to act early in 2014 to bring the Medicaid expansion to