Medical debt cited as chief cause of bankruptcy, as advocates urge legislators to expand Medicaid

Dec 5, 2012

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People and groups who work with Medicaid clients are urging Missouri lawmakers to expand coverage in next year’s state budget.

Cynthia Keele from the Missouri chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness told a State House budget subcommittee Tuesday that expanding Medicaid would help families dealing with medical debt: “Missouri medical debt is responsible for about 40 percent of the bankruptcies in Missouri," she said. "And I know that because I’m a banker’s wife…and those bankruptcies and medical debt kill jobs.”Governor Jay Nixon announced last week his intention to expand Medicaid coverage to an additional 300,000 Missourians in his proposed state budget.  GOP leaders, including Lt. Governor Peter Kinder, say they will NOT allow that to happen.