PRESS RELEASE: Advocates of Medicaid Expansion Lead Statewide Canvasses

For Immediate Release

Media Contact: Rebecca L. Gorley (314) 643-2463, rebecca@momedicaidcoalition.org

ADVOCATES OF MEDICAID EXPANSION LEAD STATEWIDE CANVASSES

Supporters of Medicaid expansion take to the streets of legislator’s neighborhoods to urge action.

Jefferson City — On Saturday, January 31, 2015, concerned Missourians and members of the Missouri Medicaid Coalition will participate in 23 neighborhood canvasses calling for Medicaid expansion. Canvass participants will drop literature in neighborhoods of key legislators and encourage residents to call and ask their legislator to support closing the coverage gap by expanding Medicaid. Statewide canvasses will take place in: St. Louis County, Jefferson County, Springfield, Joplin, Columbia, St. Charles, Kansas City, Audrain, Callaway, Southeast Missouri, St. Joseph, Moniteau, Rolla and West Plains.

In the past two legislative sessions, Missouri legislators have failed to pass a bill to expand affordable access to healthcare for uninsured Missourians, a policy that would benefit their constituents and strengthen their districts.

“I know my neighbors wouldn’t want my daughter to have to remain uninsured just because of political differences between Republicans and Democrats. People in Jefferson County put people, not politics first, and I want to remind them that too many of our neighbors are suffering just because of politics.” John Antonich, Pevely resident.

“There are so many stereotypes about single mothers. But there are many like me who are working hard trying to take care of themselves and their families. We’re in a constant battle to keep our heads above water. It’s really scary to think of what could happen if something awful were to happen to me and I don’t have any coverage.”– Arielle Speer, Joplin resident.

“I worked at a call center in Cape last year, but it closed. I now work part-time at Burger King and cannot find affordable health coverage. I earn too much for Medicaid, too little for the exchange– which is frustrating, especially as I’m dealing chronic knee pain and the physical, emotional and financial stress that causes.”– Echo Garrett, Cape Girardeau resident.

Approximately 300,000 uninsured Missourians fall into the coverage gap– they make too much money to qualify for Missouri’s current Medicaid program, but too little money to qualify for subsidies to afford a plan on the insurance marketplace. Medicaid expansion up to 138% of the federal poverty level would provide affordable access to health insurance to Missourians in the coverage gap.

The Missouri Medicaid Coalition represents a large, diverse group of stakeholders who advocate for closing the coverage gap and expanding Medicaid in Missouri.

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