At Kids Win Missouri, we envision a state where all children have the opportunity to be healthy, happy, and successful. That’s why we supported Medicaid expansion on the ballot last August – because we know that by expanding Medicaid in our state, Missouri’s kids will win BIG. Although expansion is targeted to uninsured adults, research has shown unequivocally that Medicaid expansion is a good deal for our youngest citizens, too.
In states that have expanded Medicaid, more children have health insurance and more parents and children have access to care.
Missouri estimates that over 275,000 residents will gain access to health insurance coverage through expansion, including tens and thousands of parents. Medicaid expansion is not only good for the adults who will gain health coverage, it also boosts coverage for kids.
States that have expanded Medicaid have found that when uninsured adults gain access to health care, they are more likely to address health issues, seek preventive care, fill needed prescriptions, and report feeling healthier. When those uninsured adults who gain coverage are parents, they are also more likely to ensure their children get the necessary preventive care to stay healthy, too. Georgetown Center for Children and Families just released a new report last week that reaffirmed all of these findings, too, with more years of data analysis comparing states that expanded Medicaid versus those who have not.
Implementing Medicaid expansion will make Missouri a better place for moms and babies.
Our infant and maternal mortality rates in Missouri are alarming, and we know there are significant disparities in health outcomes for Black and Brown mothers and infants compared with white mothers and infants. States that have expanded Medicaid saw a 50% greater reduction in infant mortality and reduced rates of maternal death compared to non-expansion states. Medicaid expansion will save the lives of moms and babies in our state, and when we ensure moms are supported with high-quality health care before, during and after pregnancy, we can help ensure a healthier start for our children.
Our children deserve every dollar of our investment.
Every year that Missouri passed by the opportunity to expand Medicaid, we left dollars on the table that would have improved the health and lives of our fellow Missourians. With expansion going into effect this year, we have an opportunity to bring over $1 Billion back to the state of Missouri annually to further support children and families here. As Congress debates another round of COVID relief and considers adding greater incentives for not-currently expanded states, including states that have approved but not implemented expansion, our state may end up reaping even more cost-saving benefits than we knew of in August.
To build and support strong families, we need to ensure that parents and children have access to health and mental health care benefits. Healthier parents and children will build healthier communities throughout our state. We can’t wait to look back in a few years to see the trends improving again, and knowing that we’ve done all that we can to ensure kids and families have a chance to be healthy, happy and successful.
Director of Outreach and Engagement
Kids Win Missouri