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.”