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Missouri Family Health Council endorses Medicaid expansion campaign

A statewide family health organization is the latest group to endorse the growing effort to let voters expand Medicaid in Missouri.

Healthcare for Missouri on Monday announced the backing of the nonprofit Missouri Family Health Council. The Jefferson City-based organization provides family planning care and reproductive health education in partnership with local health clinics across the state.

“Missouri Family Health Council is dedicated to increasing access to family planning and related healthcare,” said executive director Michelle Trupiano. “The expansion of Medicaid in Missouri is another example of empowering Missourians to make an informed choice about their healthcare.”

The health council joins more than 170 other organizations to endorse the statewide campaign for Medicaid expansion, including the Missouri Nurses Association, the Missouri NAACP State Conference, the Missouri Academy of Family Physicians and the United Way of Greater Kansas City.

Medicaid expansion in Missouri would help provide health coverage to more than 230,000 uninsured adults in the state, the overwhelming majority of whom work at jobs that don’t provide health coverage, by extending eligibility to individuals earning less than $18,000 a year. That cohort includes 50,000 parents and 18,000 near-retirees.

It would bring more than $1 billion of our tax dollars home from Washington each year, create thousands of jobs and boost the state’s economy.

Thirty-six states have already opted to expand Medicaid, including neighboring Arkansas, where officials reported using savings from expansion to cut state income taxes and reduce payments previously allocated to the uninsured.

The Missouri border states of Illinois, Kentucky, Nebraska and Iowa have also opted for Medicaid expansion.

Researchers at Washington University in St. Louis have shown that expansion could save our state more than $1 billion by 2026 by reducing many of the healthcare costs the state now pays.

For the past seven months, the Healthcare for Missouri Medicaid expansion campaign has traveled the state collecting voter signatures to qualify for the November general election ballot.

In response to the coronavirus outbreak, and in accordance with federal, state, and local guidelines and public health best practices, Healthcare for Missouri has temporarily paused the collection of voter signatures. But thanks to a strong and early start to voter signature collections, the campaign will be able to submit the required number of valid signatures by the early May deadline.