Advocates meet in Festus to urge expansion of Medicaid for workers

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Show legislators support for 300,000 Missourians, friends, neighbors

Antonich
FIGHTING FOR JUSTICE: Johon Antonich, a Meatcutters Local 88 retiree, at a recent Jobs with Justice rally in support of Medicaid expansion for 300,000 people caught in the "Medicaid gap" in Missouri. – JwJ photo

Festus, MO – “I could rest easier at night knowing that my daughter isn’t one accident away from medical bankruptcy.”

That’s John Antonich, a Meatcutters Local 88 retiree from Pevely, describing how the lack of Medicaid expansion in Missouri impacts working people. His daughter is in the “Medicaid gap.”

At a  meeting Feb. 7 residents of Jefferson County highlighted this injustice and encouraged Jefferson County state reps and senators to support Medicaid expansion in Missouri.

‘MEDICAL BANKRUPTCY’

“My daughter works hard for a living, but the economy just doesn’t support workers the way it used to,” Antonich said. “If the legislature expanded Medicaid, I could rest easier at night knowing that my daughter isn’t one accident away from medical bankruptcy.”

For the past two years, the Republican-controlled legislature has refused to consider Medicaid expansion for Missouri, a program that would be 100 percent funded by the federal government and provide health care to 300,000 low-paid working Missourians as part of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

300,000 SHUT OUT

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Antonich’s daughter is like the 300,000 other Missourians who can’t get Medicaid coverage because they are caught in a “Medicaid Gap” – they make too much to qualify for Medicaid, but not enough to qualify for the subsidies offered by the Affordable Care Act.

Most people trapped in the gap are working people, with jobs that pay too little or don’t offer enough hours to make ends meet. They work in jobs like homecare, as restaurant servers, retail workers and childcare providers. Some are even teachers at our local schools and universities.

Missouri has yet to join 29 other states – many with Republican governors and state legislatures – that have expanded their Medicaid eligibility, but this year presents yet another opportunity.

Estimates are that the expansion would create or maintain 24,000 jobs, primarily in the construction and healthcare sectors.

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