MISSOURI, June 22, 2020 — The American Heart Association is asking Missourians to support a ballot measure that would allow more Missourians to get affordable healthcare coverage through Medicaid. By voting “Yes” on Amendment 2 on August 4, more than 230,000 Missourians would gain access to Medicaid coverage that was previously out of reach.
hero_image_alt_text===Outline of the state of Missouri with the text "Vote 'Yes' on 2 on August 4th"
thumbnail_alt_text===Outline of the state of Missouri with the text "Vote 'Yes' on 2 on August 4th"
Medicaid provides critical access to prevention, treatment and disease management for people with cardiovascular disease. Because low-income populations are disproportionately affected by cardiovascular disease, Medicaid serves as the coverage backbone for the healthcare services these individuals need.
Since 2014 alone, 10 rural Missouri hospitals have closed, forcing people to drive longer distances to seek care when suffering from a heart attack, stroke or other life-threatening medical emergency.
“Medicaid expansion will help stabilize families and energize the economy of rural Missouri. The certainty and security of having health care will help working families put down roots in their communities. My own experience investing in rural health care across America has shown me Medicaid expansion will create quality jobs for our Missouri families,” said Phil Glynn, Kansas City American Heart Association board member and president of Travois.
230,000 Missourians work at companies that do not offer healthcare. Many of them in industries that are experiencing the highest rates of unemployment, like hairdressers, retail workers, bartenders and wait staff. If voters approve Amendment 2, these Missourians could get access to affordable healthcare.
In the week ending May 30, more than 20,000 Missourians filed for unemployment because of job loss or reduced hours. Many will lose their employer-sponsored healthcare and fall into what’s called the Medicaid coverage gap: their income is above Medicaid eligibility limits but too low to afford private healthcare coverage. For those managing cardiovascular disease as well as for stroke survivors, this loss of coverage could be life-threatening.
“Voting Yes on Amendment 2 is a vote to provide life-saving healthcare coverage for our neighbors in Missouri. In 2016, 48 percent of U.S. adults had at least one heart disease-related condition. For these individuals, access to affordable and adequate health insurance is a matter of life and death. These patients are your grocery store clerk, parents who work hard at jobs that don’t offer insurance, seniors nearing retirement who have lost their healthcare and those who are trapped in the coverage gap – meaning they make too much money to qualify for Medicaid, but too little to afford care on the insurance marketplace,” said Maura Gray, Missouri Government Relations Director at the American Heart Association.
Expanding healthcare coverage in Missouri will not only provide access to healthcare to 230,000 Missourians, but also bring more than $1 billion in tax dollars home from Washington every year. This will allow Missouri to join the 36 other states that already benefit from expanded access to Medicaid.
The American Heart Association encourages Missourians to vote “yes” on Amendment 2 on August 4 to expand access to quality and affordable healthcare. Other organizations supporting Amendment 2 include the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, American Diabetes Association, American Kidney Fund, American Lung Association, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Hemophilia Federation of America, Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, National Alliance on Mental Illness, Missouri, National Hemophilia Foundation, National Multiple Sclerosis Society, National Organization for Rare Disorders and Susan G. Komen for the Cure.
About the American Heart Association
The American Heart Association is a relentless force for a world of longer, healthier lives. We are dedicated to ensuring equitable health in all communities. Through collaboration with numerous organizations, and powered by millions of volunteers, we fund innovative research, advocate for the public’s health and share lifesaving resources. The Dallas-based organization has been a leading source of health information for nearly a century. Connect with us on heart.org, Facebook, Twitter or by calling 1-800-AHA-USA1.