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Push for Missouri Medicaid Expansion Imminent

Posted on February 24, 2012 by admin

Former Sen. Christopher “Kit” Bond is making a push for the state of Missouri to expand Medicaid in the near future. While the Republican-led Missouri General Assembly has made it clear that Missouri does not have any current plans to accept the Medicaid expansion, Bond, who is a well-known lobbyist, is building support to sway opinions.

Recently joining forces with Sen. Ryan Silvey (R-Kansas City), Bond and Silvey have declared that the military veterans organizations of the state are favor the expansion and the reformation of the state and federal healthcare program for poorer Americans.

Kit Bond Strategies, which is Bond’s lobbying firm, has reported that of the substantial number of uninsured Americans in the state of Missouri, approximately 50,000 of them are veterans and members of their families. A study done in March 2013 by the Urban Institute indicates that about half of these uninsured veterans would be eligible to receive Medicaid benefits if the state decided to accept the expansion offering.

Dewey Riehn of the Missouri Association of Veterans Organizations has released a statement concerning the matter of the expansion, saying that “improving the lives of those who have served and their families… is an effort all Missourians should endorse.” Bond and Silvey echo his beliefs.

The biggest issue that not expanding Medicaid in Missouri presents is the coverage gap a significant number of veterans and other underpaid, working-age citizens are faced with today. Anyone who is under the age of 65 and below the individual poverty line of $11,670 is trapped in what is known as a coverage gap. Not only do these individuals miss out on the free-of-charge or low-cost healthcare provided by the state’s current Medicaid program, but they also fail to qualify for the federal tax credits and subsidies that the government offers to help pay for private health coverage.

Up until now, state officials of Missouri have fought against the Medicaid expansion due to the bill the state will eventually have to pay for improved healthcare. However, with veterans struggling to make ends meet and many of their families living without necessary health insurance, the question must be posed to the state’s leaders: Are our nation’s heroes not worth the cost?