In a letter to Medicaid coalition members, Gov. Jay Nixon today said efforts to bring the dollars Missourians send to Washington back to strengthen Medicaid in Missouri would continue. The proposed expansion would draw down the federal dollars available to expand health coverage to an additional 300,000 working Missourians.
"Over the last six months, I have stood with you in every corner of the state to make the case for seizing this unique opportunity," Gov. Nixon said. "Together, we built a coalition of more than 200 organizations whose breadth and depth rivaled any in recent memory: medical professionals and law enforcement officers, business leaders and faith groups, Republicans and Democrats all united in support of this cause."
Under the proposed expansion, low-income, working Missourians who cannot afford health insurance and earn less than 138 percent of the Federal Poverty Level - or $32,500 a year for a family of four - would be eligible for coverage. Governor Nixon emphasized that bringing these dollars back to Missouri would put downward pressure on insurance premiums, provide access to treatment for 50,000 Missourians with mental health challenges and ease burdens on local law enforcement agencies.
"With these facts and a growing coalition on our side, momentum will continue to build for strengthening Medicaid in Missouri," Gov. Nixon said. "Please join me in the coming days, weeks, and months and continue to educate your neighbors, colleagues and elected representatives. Let them know strengthening Medicaid is the smart business decision that will strengthen our economy. Let them know that you want your tax dollars spent in your community, not in some other state. And let them know that making it easier for hundreds of thousands of working Missourians to get basic health care is simply the right thing to do."
Enclosed was a list of more than 200 business, health care, civic, law enforcement and faith-based organizations that have endorsed strengthening Medicaid in Missouri.
"Though the General Assembly may have ended the 2013 legislative session without authorizing Medicaid expansion, this temporary setback should not diminish the huge strides we have taken, or weaken the momentum that continues to build," Gov. Nixon continued. "Our coalition remains united, dedicated and determined to move our state forward."