Joining with patients and voters across the state, doctors and nurses are returning to an old-time practice to put Medicaid expansion on the ballot. Going door-to-door, medical professionals are making house calls to help build a movement for healthcare throughout the state.
With life-saving care for more than 200,000 Missourians at stake, the director of the Siteman Cancer Center in St. Louis is one of the volunteers who has been collecting signatures for the measure.
|Dr. Blair Thedinger collects signatures in Kansas City to put Medicaid expansion on the ballot.|
“I can’t tell you how many people we see with stage 4 cancer — an outcome that in many instances could have been avoided if their disease had just been caught earlier,” said Dr. Timothy Eberlein, director of the Siteman Cancer Center. “It’s wrong to force families to choose between going to see a doctor and putting food on the table — especially when we have a common-sense solution available to us that would actually save our state money.”
Medicaid expansion would bring back more than a billion of Missouri’s taxpayer dollars every year from Washington, D.C. to deliver care, keep rural hospitals open, and create thousands of jobs. Researchers at Washington University in St. Louis issued an independent report earlier this year that also found that Medicaid expansion would save the state money. Annual savings in the state budget resulting from Medicaid expansion would reach $1.013 billion by 2026.
Dr. Jim Blaine of Springfield said the issue is popular with voters across the political spectrum because it both helps people and makes such good financial sense.
“We’re paying for this right now,” he said. “We’re just not seeing the benefits. Our money is going to places like California when it could be coming back to communities like Springfield. That needs to change.”
In the News:
Dressed in their white lab coats, a group of physicians were canvassing the neighborhood on Friday seeking signatures to put Medicaid expansion on the statewide ballot next November.
Missouri is one of 14 states that has not expanded Medicaid since Obamacare made that an option nine years ago.
A number of prominent St. Louis doctors went door-to-door in the Tower Grove South neighborhood, but they weren't treating the ill.
They were pushing to get Medicaid expansion on the statewide ballot, saying life-saving of more than 200,000 Missourians is at stake.