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Medicaid Expansion Supporters Host Town Hall Meeting Thursday Night in Springfield

This map shows the status of the Medicaid Expansion decision in various states, as of early 2014. (Image credit: Kaiser Family
This map shows the status of the Medicaid Expansion decision in various states, as of early 2014. (Image credit: Kaiser Family

http://ozarkspub.vo.llnwd.net/o37/KSMU/audio/mp3/medicaid-expansion-supporters-host-town-hall-meeting-thursday-night-springfield_79184.mp3

Tonight, supporters of Medicaid expansion in Missouri will host a town hall meeting in Springfield.  As KSMU’s Jennifer Davidson reports, the groups hoping to enlarge the government health care program for the poor are directly focusing their message on state lawmakers.

About 200 organizations, from preachers to Chambers of Commerce to hospitals, have joined the Missouri Medicaid Coalition, which wants the state of Missouri to accept federal dollars for expanding Medicaid.  But so far, conservative lawmakers in Jefferson City voted against expanding the program, saying they want to revamp and streamline it before taking the fed’s offer.

At tonight’s town hall, attendees will find out the current status of the proposal, and what it would mean to lower-income Missourians who don’t have health insurance.

If Missouri lawmakers were to expand Medicaid, it would raise the threshold of coverage from about 19percent of the federal poverty level, where it is now, to 138 percent.  Right now, a family of four has to make less than about $4,500 a year to be eligible for Medicaid.  If Missouri were to expand the program, that eligibility threshold would jump all the way up to cover families who make about $32,400 a year.

The town hall meeting is tonight at 6 o’clock at the International Brotherhood of Electric Workers.  That’s at 2902 East Division in Springfield.

For KSMU News, I’m Jennifer Davidson.

You can read and listen to some of our in-depth coverage of the Medicaid Expansion debate by clicking on the following KSMU stories:

"Hospitals Brace for Impact of Federal Cuts as Lawmakers Wrap Up Session Without Addressing Medicaid Expansion"

"Rural Ozarks Hospital Says It Could See a 60 Percent Reduction in Bottom Line if Medicaid Expansion Fails"

"Despite Rural Business, Health Groups’ Endorsement of Medicaid Expansion, Conservative Reps Still Not Convinced"

"Nixon Says Business Case Being Made for Medicaid Expansion"

"Reforms—and for Some, Health Care—Put on the Back Burner As Lawmakers Wrap Up Session Without Addressing Medicaid Expansion"