Stories & News
Earlier this month, we celebrated our nation’s Independence Day and the as-yet-unrealized vision of the Founders to secure, “Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
Of course, not all of us have enjoyed these allegedly inalienable rights. COVID-19 has shone a bright light on the health care disparities that have plagued our state since long before this pandemic. Approximately 230,000 Missourians are still fighting for affordable health care.
Together, we can ensure thousands of parents, seniors, and people struggling to make ends meet can access affordable health care by voting Yes on Amendment 2 on Tuesday, August 4th.
But we don’t despair! When working Missourians are under attack, we stand up and fight back!
When I was a teacher, I often shared the mantra, “Knowledge equals power.” The more we know, the better equipped we are to find our voices and fight for what we need. The better we understand the chronic oppression that plagues our communities — systemic and structural racism principle among them — the more able we are to advocate for the health and well-being of all Missourians, no matter what we look like or where we come from. The more we know, the greater our ability to fight for change.
For nearly a decade, certain politicians in our state have refused to protect the most vulnerable among us. They have focused on the richest 1 percent instead of investing in our communities, creating better-paying jobs, and making health care more affordable for white, Black, and brown people struggling to make ends meet.
We came together and gathered more than 300,000 signatures to place Amendment 2 to expand Medicaid on the August 4th ballot. We are following in the footsteps of the generations who have gone before us — those who stood fast against systemic and structural racism, those who stood up for social and economic justice in every era, and all those who fought for the elusive right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness for all.
A vote yes on Amendment 2 would cover 36,000 more Black Missourians and will provide health care to working Missourians whose employers do not offer health care, or who have lost their jobs and face economic uncertainty.
An estimated 18,000 near-retirees would also benefit from Medicaid expansion. These are the individuals not old enough to qualify for Medicare, and whose jobs either do not provide health insurance, or the cost for coverage is too expensive. For older adults with Medicare, many of their caregivers and family members fall into the coverage gap. Medicaid expansion would make them among the newly enrolled. Amendment 2 also covers veterans who do not have Veteran’s Association (VA) benefits.
The state also benefits. Amendment 2 will bring home more than a billion of our tax dollars from Washington, D.C. – every year – funds that are already set aside for Missouri. If Amendment 2 does not pass, Missouri’s tax dollars will benefit the other 37 states that expanded Medicaid.
Keeping those dollars home, with a yes vote, means securing employment for front-line health workers and keeping rural hospitals open. The bottom line is this, expanding Medicaid is not a partisan issue. It is about ensuring that more Missourians have access to health care, a basic right. Too many Missourians are dying because they lack access to preventive essential care, care that sometimes makes the difference between life and death.
Please join me in pledging to vote YES on Amendment 2 on Tuesday, August 4. For more information, visit https://yeson2.org.
Let us vote like our lives depend on it because, indeed, many lives do.
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