President, Missouri Coalition for Quality Care
Any Missourian who values health care for the elderly and disabled should be concerned about the Missouri Legislature's effort to overturn the August 2020 vote of the people to expand Medicaid to low-income Missouri residents. House Joint Resolution 117 (HJR 117) would do just that and would put thousands of Missourians' health care on the chopping block. Prescription drugs, hospice care and long-term services would be subject to debate every year. Home and community-based services could be cut, resulting in more Missourians being forced to leave their homes and enter nursing homes.
Many of the low-income Missourians who benefit from the expansion are caretakers for their elderly and disabled loved ones. Senators and voters should oppose HJR 117 because it would not only take health care away from the caretakers, but it also would take health care away from their elderly and disabled loved ones, potentially forcing them into nursing homes. Instead of overturning the will of voters, lawmakers should focus on other priorities, like the availability of quality health care for all Missourians, including the elderly and disabled.