July 16, 2020
Top 7 reasons to vote #yeson2 to expand Missouri Medicaid
Since the founding of the Westport Free Health Clinic in 1971 and through every iteration since, KC CARE Health Center has stood by our founders’ belief that “healthcare is a right, not a privilege.”
Right now, too many Missourians fall into a gap in our healthcare system. They are unable to afford healthcare coverage for themselves or their loved ones but do not qualify for Medicaid as it currently stands.
As KC CARE’s CEO, I’m writing today to urge you to take action with me on this issue.
As a community and as a state, we have the opportunity to go to the polls and demonstrate this belief on Tuesday, August 4, by voting to expand Missouri Medicaid.
Here are the top 7 reasons YOU should vote YES on 2 to expand Missouri Medicaid:
- Help KC CARE patients. 77.6% of KC CARE’s uninsured patients seen since December would qualify for health insurance coverage under Missouri Medicaid expansion.
- Help Missouri residents across the state. Medicaid expansion would give 230,000 Missourians, who make less than 138% of the Federal Poverty Level, access to health coverage. What does 138% of FPL look like? Living on $18,000 for an individual or $30,000 for a family of three.
- Stimulate business and the economy. A report from REMI finds that Medicaid expansion will create more than 16,000 Missouri jobs (79% occurring outside the healthcare industry) and boost our economy by more than $2.5 billion annually. A vote for healthcare is a vote for the health of our economy.
- Repurpose states funds toward other needs. With 90 percent of the costs of expansion paid for by the federal government, the higher reimbursement rates received by the state for existing Medicaid recipients would produce state budget savings that could go toward education, transportation, public safety, or tax cuts, the REMI report concluded.
- Improve healthcare access across the state. According to the 2019 Commonwealth Fund Scorecard on State Health System Performance, Missouri ranks 43rd overall on rankings such as access and affordability, prevention and treatment, avoidable use and cost, healthy lives and healthcare disparities. Medicaid expansion would bring an additional $131.4 million in healthcare spending to the Kansas City region in 2022 and more than $1.2 billion statewide.
- Improve health disparities, including COVID-19. 57.2% of KC CARE’s uninsured patients who would be newly eligible for Medicaid are Black, Indigenous, or People of Color (BIPOC), which also makes this a racial disparity and health justice issue. We also know COVID-19 is disproportionately impacting BIPOC individuals and those who are uninsured. The same 2019 Commonwealth Fund Scorecard mentioned above ranks Missouri 51st (of all the states and Washington, D.C.) for healthcare disparities.
- We’re late to this party. 37 states have already approved Medicaid expansion, including Missouri’s border states Illinois, Kentucky, Nebraska, Iowa, Arkansas, and as of June 30, Oklahoma. Every one of those states has kept expanded Medicaid in place because of its benefits to the economy and the health of its residents.
From all of us at KC CARE – staff, volunteers, and patients – we thank you for supporting our vision to create solutions for a healthier community. Please vote YES on 2 on August 4th to further support our crucial work.
Wil Franklin, CEO
Do you want to learn more about Missouri Medicaid expansion?
- What Missourian need to know to vote Yes on Amendment 2 (Health Forward Foundation)
- ‘Sorry, you don’t qualify’: Many Missourians can’t access affordable health coverage (Health Forward Foundation)
- Missouri Medicaid expansion fuels state’s economic recovery from COVID-19 crisis (Kansas City Business Journal)
- Medicaid expansion would be an investment in Missouri’s health and a growing economy (Kansas City Star)
- REMI Economic Impacts of Increased Federal Funding in Missouri Associated with an Expansion of its Mo HealthNet Program