GRO Petitions for Medicaid Changes
Grass Roots Organizing, or GRO, needs 120,000 signatures statewide by this May to put Medicaid reform on the November ballot.
Former Medicaid recipients like Jenn O'Laughlin, a mother and full-time student, hope to regain coverage. O'Laughlin lost coverage last year because Missouri said her $14,000 annual income was too high.
"I lost my Medicaid benefits right away," she explained, "and all of our food stamps and within about 3 weeks my son lost his Medicaid also."
GRO wants Medicaid to cover 100% of the federal poverty level, restore dental and eye services, reinstate MC-Plus coverage for poor children, reestablish coverage for the disabled, and continue coverage for all recipients past June 30, 2008.
A Department of Social Services spokesperson said it supports the ballot initiative concept, but DSS said GRO's proposed changes could lead to a tax increase.
GRO said the benefits are worth it.
"I would like to think that people would rather see their tax dollars spent to help those who are in need, and who are sick or disabled," said volunteer Judith Frasher.
"I am really appreciative of Grass Roots Organizing for listening to the people and hearing what we're having to say," O'Laughlin added.