Medicaid Expansion Wins: Our Full Statement

Drew Noblot and Sarah Willey, interim Co-Executive Directors, released this statement in response to the Missouri Supreme Court’s ruling on Medicaid expansion on July 22, 2021:

“It has been almost a decade since Missouri Health Care for All started fighting to make Medicaid expansion a reality. Today, we are excited to see Missouri cross the finish line and bring health care to 275,000 people. As the only permanent statewide organization focused solely on grassroots organizing on health care issues, the Missouri Supreme Court’s decision is a tremendous win for our staff and supporters.

Missouri voters made it clear what they wanted in August 2020 when they passed Amendment 2. Even though state lawmakers attempted to dismiss the people’s wishes and undermine their power, Missourians made Medicaid expansion the law of the land. Upholding the people’s vote is not only a win for health care justice, it’s also a win for democracy.

But the greatest impact of this decision is on the people who will finally have access to the health care they need. Since 2013, Missouri Health Care for All has captured hundreds of stories from Missourians living in the coverage gap. In hearing the news, our storytellers had this to say:

J. Kelly (Joplin), a mom who works as a freelance photographer, says opportunities for her work have been slim since the pandemic started. This coupled with the cost of her prescriptions has put a burden on her family’s finances. She said, “I can now get the medication I need! I am so grateful!”

Haji Culton (Jefferson County) said, “I need insurance. I’m applying now.” He is one of many Missourians who spent over a decade without health insurance. He can now manage his chronic condition and feel more comfortable about being there for his daughter.

C. Garcia (Kansas City) is one of almost 15,000 veterans who are now eligible for Medicaid coverage. She said, “When I heard that disabled veterans like me would now receive health care, I cried. The Medicaid expansion will save and change lives. Having health care means having choices, power, and autonomy in my life.”

Basmin Nadra (St. Louis) said, “This is sorely needed and so many people have been left out. We need to get better about treating each other like human beings, and we’re on our way. We’re on our way to a better day and getting good things done in 2021.” After losing her job in 2014, Basmin has struggled to get the care she needs to manage her peripheral artery disease and chronic pain.

And John McDonald (Jefferson County) is one of several Missourians, who’ve always worked hard and could never afford healthcare. “I get a chance to live.”

For many Missourians, today’s decision wasn’t a matter of politics. It was a matter of life and death. Thousands of Missourians worked tirelessly to make this win a reality. Many worked through illness and declining health. And some lost their health battles before seeing this victory come to life.

Medicaid expansion is a huge achievement on the road to ‘health care for all’. Health care is a basic human right, and every Missourian should have quality, affordable, and accessible care. Today, we are celebrating this win and every person who made this a reality. Tomorrow, our work continues.”

16 Comments

  1. I have had back surgery in 2000 and have chronic pain, I do not work because I am caregiver for my mother who is wheelchair bound and now my boyfriend of 20 years has PSP and is wheelchair bound. I am the full time caregiver for both. I have no insurance and have been turned down for Medicaid several times. I pray I can now get some help. Thank you

    Melissa England
    1. Thank you for sharing your story and experience. So many folks have similar stories to tell. The details may change, but one thing remains constant: we need health care. We hope this decision is step one on your journey to getting the health care and support you need.

      MHCFA
  2. Why the Missouri Supreme Court had to be involved in this issues boggles my mind! Elected officials—those who are SUPPOSED to represent all Missourians, have wasted valuable time, our taxes, and potentially put more Missourians at risk of becoming sicker. Thank you Supreme Court for doing what should have been done by elected officials in the first place: execute the will of the people.

    G Wesley
    1. Thanks for your question! Each person’s coverage is determined by a number of factors – we’d recommend connecting with someone at MO DSS to check and see if your prescriptions would be covered based on your personal situation.

      MHCFA
  3. I am wondering what, if anything, that will do for those of us who are “qualified” for Medicaid, but have to meet a copay of roughly twenty percent of our monthly income to benefit from it.

    Chester Payne
    1. This is a great question! Because this is getting into the details of people’s individual eligibility, we’d recommend folks connect with someone at MO DSS to talk through this situation. They’re best positioned to provide the most accurate information about what to expect.

      MHCFA
  4. I am elated this has been accomplished. I voted for it even though I don’t need it at this time. Thank you to everyone who worked so diligently toward this goal. The will of the people has been heard.

    Bonita M. Nanney
    1. We’re glad you were a part of this effort, too! The work doesn’t end here – we’ll keep fighting to protect Medicaid and ensure all Missourians have health care. We hope you stay connected with us in this work!

      MHCFA

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