September 2007 Missouri Health Care for All
The Missouri Health Care for All Initiative is a non-partisan, grassroots movement launched by faith and community leaders committed to providing access to affordable, high-quality health care for all Missourians
We strongly assert that investing in health care for all is both critically important for the well-being of all Missourians and a sound economic investment. Because 700,000 Missourians have no health insurance, and more than 80% of the uninsured are workers and their families, this endeavor is crucial. Based on faith and ethical values, we affirm that all persons should have the opportunity for healthcare and healing.
Missouri is struggling with significant changes in health care access including unprecedented cuts to Medicaid, declining employer coverage and major shifts in health care delivery to publicly insured and uninsured individuals. In addition, health care costs are rising for those who have insurance coverage, in part due to the ineffective and inefficient way we pay for health care for the uninsured. Insured families spend an average of $1000 per year to pay for health care for the uninsured. These serious changes and the ripple effects they produce in our communities, congregations and families motivate us to work diligently to improve health care for all Missourians.
We resolve that our plan must:
1. Provide timely access to quality, affordable health care to all Missourians.
2. Assure access in all communities regardless of geography or economic base. Access and affordability of health care will meet the unique needs of rural communities challenged by geography and communities with high rates of poverty or unemployment. We also must ensure adequate participation of health care practitioners to meet this goal including ensuring adequate provider reimbursement throughout the system.
3. Employ both private coverage options and public insurance programs including Medicaid. We must protect the health care of those traditionally covered by public insurance programs including seniors, low income individuals, children and people with disabilities. In addition, we must expand coverage to everyone, including those with pre-existing conditions.
4. Achieve fair and efficient financing. Financing health care for all Missourians will include fair contributions from individuals, businesses, and public resources. The community will explore revenue sources that other states have successfully used to expand healthcare. Wise stewardship of our resources is critical in financing health care for all.
As our coalition is forming, our work to develop a plan to provide health care to all Missourians must:
• Truly reflect the diversity of our communities working in active partnership.
• Ensure meaningful public input into each step of developing the plan, including public meetings and hearings and meaningful engagement of consumers, front-line healthcare workers, advocates, health care providers, businesses, and state officials.
• Be based on best practices that have proved effective in providing affordable, high quality, comprehensive health care, including wellness education, preventive care and mental health parity.
• Be subject to annual review and evaluation of the impact on the uninsured, the health care system and individuals who are insured under the new plan.