Persons can sign a petition from 5 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 29, that seeks to place Medicaid expansion on the November ballot.
Petitions will be available at Betty’s on South U.S. 63 in Houston.
The event is sponsored by the Texas County Democratic Central Committee. Any Missouri resident who is registered to vote is eligible to sign the petition.
Organizer said getting Medicaid expansion on the ballot will assist in ensuring that rural Missouri hospitals, like Texas County Memorial Hospital, are not forced to close. Since 2014 nine rural hospitals in the state have folded. Thirty-six other states have expanded Medicaid coverage. Most recently, Kansas signaled its support of the idea.
When Medicaid coverage is expanded the federal government will provide 90 percent of the funding necessary. Organizers said this would provide coverage for those who earn too much for Medicaid but cannot afford health insurance through the health insurance expansion program. Rural hospitals can lose more than a million dollars annually as a result of this gap in coverage, organizers said.
Organizers said Medicaid expansion will help to guarantee that Texas County Memorial Hospital can stay open to serve the residents of Texas County. They said this is a nonpartisan issue which has the support of many groups, such as the Catholic Bishops of Missouri, and almost every medical and/or doctors association in the state.