Medicaid expansion may be headed to the ballot

3 weeks 1 day 20 hours ago Tuesday, November 12 2019 Nov 12, 2019 Tuesday, November 12, 2019 10:27:00 PM CST November 12, 2019 in News
By: Caroline Dade, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

JEFFERSON CITY - One group is fighting to have citizens vote directly on whether or not they want more Missourians to have healthcare. 

After Congress passed the Affordable Care Act in 2010, states have had the option to expand Medicaid coverage. Thirty-six states have done so. Missouri has not. 

Currently, non-disabled adults who don't have children aren't eligible for Medicaid in Missouri, no matter their income. Parents with children are only eligible if their income is not more than 22% of the federal poverty level

That means a parent can't make more than $312/month if they want to access Medicaid coverage. 

Experts said people who are in this position frequently work in the service industry and can't afford the premiums that come with private insurance. 

If they don't qualify for Medicaid, they often go uninsured. 

"There are way too many Missourians who are going without healthcare," Mary Schantz, an expansion supporter, said. "I just don't think that's right." 

Medicaid expansion supporters hope a ballot measure would help close this gap. 

They're collecting signatures for an initiative petition, and if they reach the threshold - around 160,000 signatures - the measure will be on the ballot across the state in the November 3 general election. 

"I think the people of Missouri will be in support of this initiative," expansion advocate John Bennett said. "It will save people from living sicker and dying younger."

This isn't the first time the question of who should qualify for Medicaid has been a hot-button issue. 

Since 2018, more than 130,000 Missourians have been dropped from Medicaid coverage. In September, some Missouri house members held a hearing, and Representative Doug Clemens, D-St. Ann, said the state was in a health care "crisis." 

State officials said the decrease in enrollees was due in part to an improving economy. 

If the initiative appears on the ballot and voters approve it, more than 200,000 Missourians could become eligible for Medicaid coverage. 

Bennett said this makes the decision an easy one for him. 

"People would live instead of die," he said. "Plus, the state of Missouri would get a lot of federal money, which would help the struggling state budget. It's a no-brainer economically, and it's a moral imperative."

The Affordable Care Act states, starting in 2020, the federal government will pay for 90% of the cost of expanding Medicaid coverage. 

However, opponents of expansion have said they're still concerned with the long-term cost for the state. 

More News

Grid
List
KANSAS CITY - Three men were charged on Thursday for being involved in a drug-trafficking conspiracy after federal agents seized... More >>
2 hours ago Thursday, December 05 2019 Dec 5, 2019 Thursday, December 05, 2019 4:32:00 PM CST December 05, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - A marijuana advocacy group said people who have legal medical marijuana licenses are still being arrested. In... More >>
2 hours ago Thursday, December 05 2019 Dec 5, 2019 Thursday, December 05, 2019 4:28:00 PM CST December 05, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Jefferson City Public School nurses could be getting a new medication to add to their medicine cabinets... More >>
3 hours ago Thursday, December 05 2019 Dec 5, 2019 Thursday, December 05, 2019 2:42:00 PM CST December 05, 2019 in News
TIPTON - David Dubois was taken into custody on Monday for stealing. A property owner in Fortuna, Mo. reported... More >>
4 hours ago Thursday, December 05 2019 Dec 5, 2019 Thursday, December 05, 2019 2:31:00 PM CST December 05, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - The search of the Lamine River for the body of Mengqi Ji Elledge entered its third consecutive... More >>
5 hours ago Thursday, December 05 2019 Dec 5, 2019 Thursday, December 05, 2019 12:49:00 PM CST December 05, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The Missouri State Auditor's Office announced today they will deliver to Senate Leadership at least six completed... More >>
5 hours ago Thursday, December 05 2019 Dec 5, 2019 Thursday, December 05, 2019 12:44:00 PM CST December 05, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - The Boone County Prosecutor's Office charged a man with sodomy on Thursday after a reported sexual assault at... More >>
6 hours ago Thursday, December 05 2019 Dec 5, 2019 Thursday, December 05, 2019 12:32:00 PM CST December 05, 2019 in News
COOPER COUNTY - Missouri State Highway Patrol troopers arrested two men when they found $1.1 million worth of THC vape... More >>
8 hours ago Thursday, December 05 2019 Dec 5, 2019 Thursday, December 05, 2019 9:47:00 AM CST December 05, 2019 in News
WASHINGTON (AP) — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced Thursday that the House is moving forward to draft articles of impeachment... More >>
8 hours ago Thursday, December 05 2019 Dec 5, 2019 Thursday, December 05, 2019 9:38:29 AM CST December 05, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia's search for a new fire chief is coming to a close. A community relations specialist for... More >>
16 hours ago Thursday, December 05 2019 Dec 5, 2019 Thursday, December 05, 2019 1:48:00 AM CST December 05, 2019 in News
HONOLULU (AP) - The military says a U.S. sailor shot and killed two, and wounded one at the Pearl Harbor... More >>
20 hours ago Wednesday, December 04 2019 Dec 4, 2019 Wednesday, December 04, 2019 10:04:00 PM CST December 04, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt wrote a letter of support to the Cameron football team after the... More >>
22 hours ago Wednesday, December 04 2019 Dec 4, 2019 Wednesday, December 04, 2019 8:31:00 PM CST December 04, 2019 in News
COOPER COUNTY - Neighbors who live near the Lamine River have watched the search for missing Columbia woman, Mengqi Ji... More >>
23 hours ago Wednesday, December 04 2019 Dec 4, 2019 Wednesday, December 04, 2019 7:17:00 PM CST December 04, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - The victim of an attempted homicide in mid-November died in her home Friday. The Columbia Police Department... More >>
1 day ago Wednesday, December 04 2019 Dec 4, 2019 Wednesday, December 04, 2019 4:40:00 PM CST December 04, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA – Boone County's sales tax revenue has been steadily decreasing in recent years - and homeowners in the county... More >>
1 day ago Wednesday, December 04 2019 Dec 4, 2019 Wednesday, December 04, 2019 3:06:00 PM CST December 04, 2019 in News
ELDON - The National Alliance on Mental Illness, or NAMI, hosted the first of two community meetings on Wednesday to... More >>
1 day ago Wednesday, December 04 2019 Dec 4, 2019 Wednesday, December 04, 2019 2:30:00 PM CST December 04, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Former MU football coach Barry Odom released a statement Wednesday following his termination over the weekend. In... More >>
1 day ago Wednesday, December 04 2019 Dec 4, 2019 Wednesday, December 04, 2019 10:50:00 AM CST December 04, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY -- The Missouri Special Olympics will host a meeting on Wednesday in search of volunteers to be part... More >>
1 day ago Wednesday, December 04 2019 Dec 4, 2019 Wednesday, December 04, 2019 8:00:00 AM CST December 04, 2019 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 54°
7pm 50°
8pm 50°
9pm 49°
10pm 48°