Health care and the 2020 election: How one state brought the issue to a vote

Millions of Americans make too much money to get Medicaid, but too little to access affordable health care. In Missouri, activists worked to change that.
9:15 | 10/21/20

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Transcript for Health care and the 2020 election: How one state brought the issue to a vote
Monday after church I got sick that night boyfriend had TT meet the emergency ran. I ate it kept putting it up and putting it off and was working through the pain and probably causing myself more iron. I was more concerned about what that bill would be at hand to treat others point. I eat. Started trying to looked in TU Medicaid act chains. And obamacare actions I was told and name Tim actually eat a qualified for Medicaid. And tiny too little money to qualify for Al Bonnie yeah. At least a sky in this gap that I didn't mailings in this state. It's stressful especially with the kids. I don't money in that at his age and Wear it they're having TU. My medical bills after the I don't money at an position where I having to eight Kryptonite annaly. Just to get that health care at that I need immediately. Kimberly Ledbetter single mother of TU. When a thousands of missourians without health care because their income falls in the coverage cap. So a lot of people's about coverage gap. Affordable Care Act was originally passed. Folks who were making 230%. Federal poverty level we're supposed to be on Medicaid and those making more than a 130%. Federal poverty level would be given subsidies and I have breached the exchange health care. Because some states haven't expanded their. They are creating a problem. Don't make enough money it on the exchange at elite too much money. To be on the air speed April. In the past ten years since the I'm passage of the Affordable Care Act Medicaid expansion has just. A lot less controversial. And we've seen in more and more red states adopting yet. You know I think at this time again how Americans tend to think about health care. Any how politicians talking at this very high level about how should. We report in the system that we need a public option. Now more than ever and the cost of prescription drugs will be dropping like the Rockford so. But when you look at the things that voters actually want politicians to new the air pocket but. You're seeing some lake prescription drug races and protecting preexisting conditions are things that really act. Peoples and it every day experience with health care system. Since the Supreme Court declared Medicaid expansion option on 201230. Sixteenths plus Washington DC have adopted and implemented the expansion. But for families in Missouri like Amber's in thousands of others. The decision to not expand coverage has come at a devastating cost of their finances and eloquent and. Anchor acting my daughter she's got a disability she shops every money. Except her and her menace us thousands of dollars every month and there is no way. Then every inch blue collar and I am or even a single parent it's going to be able to afford anything like that. My dad he fell Ellie gets sick it's a hospital and my sister are forced to make decisions for him based army. What he can't afford not necessarily what was the best course of care for him. My father passed away last. We did the same thing on my mother shortly thereafter she else at hand. We had to make us and decisions. My mother passed away. A lot last year. Advocates in Missouri have been lobbying for almost a decade for their legislators to expand Medicaid. The state legislature has refused even though the federal government would fund 90% of the costs to state chose to expand Medicaid. Not exactly two years later sir why is state leading this rate this money on the table. And why it is borrowing. Acceptable way to end we have so many people needed. Does it make you. But actually. Borrow. Tool with whole health care or it didn't. You know I can remember our conversation with the newly elected state representatives. Who lose. Perfectly honest. I don't understand this issue but what I do understand why any duty Gwynn. Primary race. What I can do to do that. Day I oppose obamacare or certainly that I didn't help implement Obama. What we learn it is today if we're going to be successful. AA and moving and shifting power in a state like mystery which is sold at Burris. To providing. Equal or people of color. We must do is organize and Mo. Missouri or over a hundred years. And our constitution the right force citizens to directly petitioned one dollar. To put issues on the ballot the end and we did that and yet thousands of volunteers. Ballot measures are a team sport it takes a lot. Different folks putting money into the effort sweat equity in the effort standing on street corners that there Lorenz and talking to their neighbors. We went everywhere. Players we went. Carnivals and apple festivals that on. You know ounce squares just talking about it and gathered the signatures that we needed. I think it made me feel empowered because all of a sudden there is something that I can do a situation that I always. Can't do anything out. And here where hundreds of other people who are doing and feeling the same thing. In Missouri be collected over 350000. Signatures. Of people in all corners of the state that you can't just go to the Missouri state fair and collect them all in one now. They asked you represented it. Rod geography at different orders misery. Nobody ever really as well as the democratic any or as a Republican. Voters don't actually think. What does this actually in the state and but we could talk about this great bull per billion dollars in investment in the state this would cry. Health insurance or are an estimated 230000. Or. So. Yet from almost 350000. All of that sign petitions saying let's get us a chance to to vote on this issue see. If Missouri if regular Missouri citizens can come together that way. In which our legislature. Fortunately could. And the answer was an overwhelming yes. Now a final numbers came in overnight for amendment to the measure will be implemented in July of 2021. And enacted as a constitutional amendment which protects the expansion against changes from the state legislature. This is not art is an issue anymore are deceived voters in Missouri on the lot going to levels. To vote for president Rong are also saying. We want Medicaid eggs and. But when people look good will come together and try to mobilize and organize around these issues there is hope. There is hauled debris equal access to boldly into the out there it is hauled debris living wages of the working poor. There is hope to bring health care as David Wright. And not a privilege and wouldn't we mobilize and organize together around these issues. We conceded these. I'm going to be looking really really closely. Not when it comes to voting and I wish politicians. Voted for and which ones voted in cats and Medicaid expansion so that's. Absolutely tracking polls. People can keep reading Alice. Beyond the list of names what are the issues that you are being asked to vote on. And what issues would you wish were on Allen says as much as you get actually about her old war as a candidate. You actually had a lot more roles playing in determining what questions you ask. Now. The voting is important being able to cut out. These include this is critical it's a way the unique your values real world's you know that was what we saw it Missouri and into. Is that was waived for missourians to express. Their values. Compassion for one dollar and their neighbors that didn't have to get tied down. Until politics.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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