Senate Republicans Won’t Address Why Missouri Moms Are Dying

Progress MO

Almost three years ago, Missourians banded together and went to the ballot box to expand access to healthcare for working families and save lives by expanding Medicaid. Back then, our Republican legislature tried to defy the will of the people by dragging their feet and not funding life saving healthcare— they even dawdled after the court forced them to take action and expand Medicaid, putting 290,000 Missourians at risk in the process.

It’s almost three years later, and our Medicaid woes aren’t over.

Missouri is one of only nine states that has not yet attempted to expand Medicaid for postpartum mothers. In Missouri, new moms are kicked off Medicaid only 60 days after giving birth, locking them out of critical postnatal healthcare.

Not coincidentally, Missouri also has one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the country, and it’s even higher for women on Medicaid. Even Governor Parson said at the beginning of the year that it was time to take action.

Missouri lawmakers are making a half-hearted attempt to expand Medicaid for postpartum moms, potentially expanding healthcare for nearly 5,000 new moms. But as we’ve seen time and time again with healthcare, Republicans are making every possible effort to avoid taking care of our most vulnerable Missourians.

In a selfish effort to score political points, Republicans have put postpartum Medicaid expansion – and in turn, the lives of new moms – at risk, attempting to add an amendment at the last minute that might get the law overturned in court. 

While Republicans could compromise, pass the bill without the amendment, and save lives, they’d rather maintain the status quo — a system that ignores Missouri’s maternal mortality rate and puts lives on the line.

Missourians know we need to take care of each other, especially our working families. It’s time we call on the State Senate to set aside culture wars and focus on saving lives.

Missouri Republicans are obsessed with our bodies – until after the baby is born. Read about their efforts to take away birth control access here: Abortion Bans Were Never Enough: Missouri Senate Moves To Restrict Birth Control Access

Posted March 2, 2023