KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) - Tuesday night voters who support Medicaid Expansion rallied at Mill Creek Park. Monday opponents of expansion held a press conference in Jefferson City. Both are hoping to gain the vote of Missourians.
Those who are voting “yes” on Amendment 2 say the coronavirus pandemic has illuminated inequities in healthcare.
“The African American community especially has been affected by this because of the inability of them to interact with the healthcare system because they can’t afford healthcare,” Cordell Pulluaim who supports Medicaid Expansion said.
Supporters of expansion say more than 230,000 Missourians are falling through a gap because they don’t meet poverty requirements to have access to the Affordable Care Act.
“There is nothing more important than saving a human life,” Rabbi Doug Alpert who also supports Medicaid Expansion said.
“Right now with me not having healthcare, I don’t see my life expectancy being very long,” Medicaid Expansion supporter Fran Marion said.
“To be able to be seen and get the type of treatment we need if we do come in contact with COVID,” Kaamilya Hobbs who also supports Medicaid Expansion said.
Opponents who will be voting “no” on Amendment 2 say it is a massive entitlement program that Missouri can’t afford without causing millions in funding cuts to other priorities.
“Public education, public safety and transportation infrastructure,” Representative Cody Smith with District 163 said. “This will be tremendously expensive to taxpayers and second there is no plan to pay for it.”
“It’s a very strained system that already makes up almost 40% of the entire state budget,” Missouri State Treasurer Scott Fitzpatrick said.
“My greatest concern is the impact this is going to be on schools,” Representative Sara Walsh with District 50 (R) said.
Voters will have to decide if they want to amend the Missouri Constitution to adopt Medicaid Expansion for people who are 19 to 64-years-old with an income level at or below 133% of the federal poverty level.