On the eve of the new legislative session, a group of community and faith leaders gathered in Jefferson City to demand action from lawmakers on Medicaid expansion.
Specifically, they want to help those people who fall into the insurance gap. Michelle Trupiano is the director of the Missouri Medicaid Coalition. She says that if the legislature doesn’t do something fast, lives are at risk.
“300,000 people currently in Missouri are uninsured and fall into the gap. And we’re talking about hard working Missourians, Missourians who work minimum wage jobs, two and three jobs sometimes but they make too much money to qualify for our current Medicaid system but make too little money to qualify for the current subsidies under the affordable care act,” Trupiano said.
Reverend Emmett Baker from the Beth-el Baptist Church has a personal stake in the fight to expand Medicaid. Baker lost his daughter in 2013.
“My daughter dies in august of that year. She could have been alive today if they had been able to get medical coverage,” Baker said. “She suffered a blood clot, something that if she were able to get regular medical coverage and have check-up’s on a regular basis it could have been determined and could have been taken care of.”
The group wants to shed light on the fact that people in metropolitan and rural Missouri all suffer if the legislature doesn’t –pass Medicaid expansion. Not only will hospitals close and people lose jobs, but according to their numbers, about 700 Missourians will die this year if the Medicaid gap isn’t closed. Medicaid expansion has not passed the last two years.