Mid-Missourians react to ACA ruling and call for Medicaid expansion

Missourians weigh in on Supreme Court ACA decision

COLUMBIA, Mo. - The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of President Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act for the second time Thursday morning.

The court ruled those with health insurance purchased through the federal exchanged were legally allowed to receive government tax credits to make the insurance cheaper.

Missouri is one of 34 states that opted not to create a state based exchange and was at risk to lose those benefits.

Mid-Missourians met at the Central Missouri Community Action Center Thursday night to discuss the ruling and talk about what's next for Missouri health care.

Martha Stevens works at the Missouri Rural Crisis Center and helps Missourians find affordable health care.

She said the ruling was a victory for Missourians who can't afford health insurance with the federal subsidies.

"Not having those tax credits to lower their monthly premiums meant that they would go without health care," she said. "For people with chronic diseases, people that ever need emergency care, having that security of health insurance is so beneficial to so many Missourians."

The president said Thursday the Supreme Court's decision has made it clear the Affordable Care Act is here to stay.

Following the ruling, lawmakers have started pushing to close the Medicaid gap in the U.S.

Gov. Jay Nixon said Thursday morning he thinks it's time to start pushing the Missouri legislation to make Medicaid a priority.

"The real question on the ground is whether or not we're going to continue to send $2 billion a year of Missouri's hard earned tax payer dollars to other states for them to expand health care or whether we're going to use it in Missouri," he said.
"I hope this breaks down that political barrier and allows us to have the serious discussions about improving health care opportunities with Missourian's tax dollars that are currently being sent to other states after this decision."

Harly Moore is a graduate student at the University of Missouri. She said her family never had health insurance when she was growing up, so she went with Obamacare when she found out she was eligible for federal assistance.

Moore said she only has to pay about $20 a month for her plan, as opposed to the almost $250 she would have pay if she wasn't able to get financial assistance.

She said her job as a waitress allows her to make just enough money to qualify for the tax credits, but knows people, like her sister, who work hard but fall just short and are stuck in the Medicaid gap.

"One thing that really bothers me about it is that these people are working they're not, not doing anything. They're making some money every year," she said. "So they have a job, they're just not being paid enough to get a tax credit."

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