(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) -- The expanded Medicaid debate was the focus of a town hall-style meeting in St. Joseph this evening.
Around a dozen community organizations hosted the event with the hopes of collecting petitions to add a ballot measure to next November's election. They say expanding Medicaid would provide healthcare to more than 200,000 Missourians who currently do not have health insurance.
"There's about a billion dollars or more that's on the table and taxpaying folks like you and me and everybody are paying federal tax dollars and it's going to the other 36 states that expanded Medicaid and we're seeing nothing for the hard-earned money we're paying taxes on," said Derek Evans, the chair of Our Revolution, one of the sponsoring organizations.
Supporters say the extra funding coming back to the state will also help rural hospitals stay open.
The groups need to come up with more than 172,000 signatures by next May to get the Medicaid expansion proposal on the November ballot.