For some Missouri families, a trip to the hospital could hold more issues than a potential sickness or injury. According to House Minority Floor Leader Crystal Quade, many families are unaware they are no longer covered by Medicaid until after they are at the hospital.
“[Families] are going into the emergency room, and that’s where they’re finding out they don’t have healthcare coverage anymore,” Quade said during a Sunday appearance on This Week in Missouri Politics. “When I talked to the health care providers, hospitals, and [federally] qualified health clinics, that’s what they’re saying too. What they’re seeing is that folks are just walking in not knowing that they don’t have coverage anymore.”
Compared to January 2018, significantly fewer Missourians are enrolled in Medicaid and have been receiving its benefits, according to caseload numbers from the Missouri Department of Social Services.
Quade said the drop-off could have disastrous consequences for the state’s economy as well.
“This is not only a catastrophic problem for these people, we’re going to see potential higher health care costs down the line,” Quade said. “If you’ve got someone who is in chemo who can’t get their treatment and has to stop and restart that process all over again, that could potentially cost us more money down the line because of higher health needs.”
“This is not just a humanitarian issue that I’m looking from that side; it’s also a financial issue.”
Special session called into question
The panel this week consisted of Democratic state Reps. Alan Green, Keri Ingle, Ashley Bland Manlove and Judy Morgan.
The panel had a lot to say on Gov. Mike Parson’s priorities when it came to the upcoming special session over an issue with vehicle sales, one which many Democrats have opposed. There are much more important matters to be focusing on instead, many of the panelists said.
“It’s unfortunate that we are going to waste even more tax dollars, not only for these ridiculous tax credits, but also the tax dollars that are going to be spent to have us sitting in that chamber for additional days,” said Manlove.
According to Ingle, the special session is going to cost $23,000 per day in session. Panelists also said guin violence, property tax reassessments, or the Medicaid issue should take precedent since those issues affect more Missourians.
Watch Sunday’s episode of This Week in Missouri Politics below for more on the Medicaid issue, upcoming special session, and a potential tilt in political power between Missouri Democrats and Republicans.