The Missouri Nurses Association has endorsed a 2020 ballot initiative to expand Medicaid to nearly a quarter million Missourians.
According to a news release from Healthcare For Missouri, which supports the initative, the Missouri Nurses Association joins 120 other organizations throwing their weight behind the effort to get Medicaid expansion on the ballot this November.
The program would bring in federal funding to cover most of the cost to expand Medicaid eligibility for Missouri’s lower-income and disabled population.
The Missouri Nurses Association, or MONA, is the largest organization of registered nurses in Missouri.
Heidi Lucas, the state director for MONA, says expanding Medicaid would increase access to health care. She cited rural hospital closures as a concern of the organization’s board.
“We also know that if we bring Medicaid expansion to the state of Missouri, that’s going to create more jobs, and a lot of those jobs are going to go to nurses. So we want our nurses to be able to have more options for work in the state," Lucas told KSMU.
Lucas says the expansion will also save money on expenses like emergency room visits.
The initiative needs 172,000 signatures across six districts to get on the ballot. Missouri is one of 14 states that has not voted to expand Medicaid since the passage of the Affordable Care Act in 2010.