Today, 13 national organizations representing patients facing serious chronic medical conditions released the following statement in support of an August 4 ballot initiative that would provide more Missourians with access to healthcare coverage through Medicaid.
"As our state and the world contends with a pandemic, affordable and high-quality healthcare is more important now than ever. Our organizations urge Missourians to vote 'yes' on Amendment 2 and support Medicaid expansion in our state.
"Voter approval of Amendment 2, would allow the 230,000 Missourians, including low-wage frontline workers, parents who work hard at jobs that don’t offer insurance, and seniors nearing retirement who have lost their health care access to affordable health insurance that was previously out of reach. This is an incredible opportunity for Missourians to improve the health of their communities and join the 36 other states that already benefit from expanded access to Medicaid.
"In the week ending June 13, more than 18,000 Missourians filed for unemployment because of job loss or reduced hours. Many will lose their employer sponsored healthcare and fall into what’s called the Medicaid coverage gap: their income is above Medicaid eligibility limits but too low to afford private healthcare coverage. For those managing heart or lung conditions, undergoing cancer treatment, or living with other chronic diseases, losing coverage is unacceptable and could jeopardize their health.
"The pandemic has also intensified the stress on Missouri’s already-struggling rural hospitals. Since 2014, ten rural hospitals in Missouri have closed, limiting access to life-saving medical care in the event of an emergency. Medicaid expansion reduces the amount of uncompensated care provided by rural hospitals, helping them keep their doors open.
"Medicaid coverage includes primary and preventive care, including cancer screening, routine doctor visits, and other treatments and services that our patients need, and will help many facing job loss resulting from the pandemic to continue management of existing health conditions.
"Voters have a remarkable opportunity on August 4 to make healthcare coverage available to Missourians who need it. We encourage them to vote ‘yes’ on Amendment 2 and expand access to high-quality and affordable healthcare."
American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network
American Diabetes Association
American Heart Association
American Kidney Fund
American Lung Association
Cystic Fibrosis Foundation
Hemophilia Federation of America
Leukemia and Lymphoma Society
National Alliance on Mental Illness, Missouri
National Hemophilia Foundation
National Multiple Sclerosis Society
National Organization for Rare Disorders
Susan G. Komen for the Cure