Issues

Health Access and Equity

Our Movement for Health Access and Equity

 

"Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health care is the most shocking and inhumane." - Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.


We believe that every person is valuable and created in God's image, and therefore deserves the opportunity to live a healthy, dignified life. We seek health opportunities that value the sacred dignity of every person.

Every day we bear witness to a healthcare system that values profit over people. In the Kansas City metro area, 245,000 people are uninsured. Meanwhile, our state legislators in Missouri and Kansas continue to devalue human lives by refusing to pass Medicaid expansion. Working families are struggling to make it paycheck to paycheck and must choose between seeing the doctor when they’re sick, buying medicine for their child, or putting healthy food on the table. Too often, families are saddled with insurmountable medical debt because they cannot afford the care that they need to live. With so many people working at poverty wages and struggling to pay bills, this crisis is escalating.

 

In Kansas City, your zip code can determine how long you live: there is a 16-year difference in life expectancy between someone who lives east of Troost and someone who lives north of the river. Communities with restricted access to transportation, healthy food, and safe housing are living sicker and dying younger.  These barriers to health are bankrupting our communities and costing people their lives.

 

People of all colors and faiths share common hopes: being able to afford a doctor when they are sick, a health care center that puts people first, and being able to live long, healthy lives. This hope cannot be realized without the unwavering commitment and guidance of communities of faith.


What We’re Fighting For:

Every person in Kansas City should have the opportunity to live a long and healthy life. We are fighting for these outcomes that get us closer to this vision:

  • Health insurance coverage for all families, through the expansion of Medicaid and enrollment in health exchanges
  • A health delivery system that is people-centered more than it is profit-driven
  • Mitigation of racial, geographic, and economic barriers to good health by creating healthy communities


This vision requires a radical reawakening of faith and a reimagining of citizenship that brings the most ignored voices into our democracy. We believe in the potential for transformation and that people should be the leaders of their own liberation. Standing with the most vulnerable and marginalized people in our community, we will work together to realize this vision.

 

 

 

It’s Time To Bring Health Reform Home

 

As people of faith, we believe that quality, affordable health care is a right endowed to all human beings. Beginning October 1 2013, hundreds of thousands of uninsured people in Missouri and Kansas gained the opportunity to enroll in affordable health insurance plans thanks to the Affordable Care Act.

  • If you are uninsured, you can go online to the Health Insurance Marketplace –www.healthcare.gov – to enroll in health insurance. You will need an email address to enroll online.
  • If your income falls between 100% and 400% of the federal poverty level, you may qualify for subsidies that will make your health insurance affordable. To find out whether you are eligible for subsidized health insurance, check out this chart . 
  • If you need assistance understanding or enrolling in the Health Insurance Marketplace, assistance is available by phone at 1-800-318-2596. In-person assistance is also available throughout the metro area.

Medicaid Expansion

Regular people are struggling across Missouri. Since the Missouri legislature cut Medicaid in 2005, more and more working families have gone without critical healthcare services. Currently, eligibility for Medicaid in Missouri is the lowest in the country: A mother with two children who earns more than $3,700 annually is not eligible for Medicaid.

We are called to maximize health coverage for all people, especially the least of these among us. In 2013, The Missouri legislature failed to answer this call by choosing not to expand Medicaid to more hardworking families throughout the state.  This means that many people will fall into a “coverage gap ” because they will not receive coverage through Medicaid or through the Health Insurance Marketplace.

We will not stop until all people have access to health insurance. If you would like to join us in the fight for Medicaid Expansion, please let us know.

Be Part of the Movement

 

Join us in our movement to expand coverage and restore dignity to families in Missouri and Kansas. There are several ways to get involved. If you would like to learn more, please fill out this form: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/189cv9S1bz4PVdj4wRkZPBRPdb0HOgxRHcGMRVf7zLd4/viewform 

 

  1. Community Outreach. Reach out directly to the uninsured members of your community to let them know that they now have the opportunity to get covered. We will go door-to-door to make sure that people know that they can now get affordable health insurance.
  2. Congregational Canvass. Host health insurance enrollment events at your congregation and ask your fellow members to commit to our fight for Medicaid Expansion.
  3. Congregational Awareness. Share information about the Affordable Care Act and about Medicaid expansion in your congregation through pulpit announcements, sermons, bulletin inserts, and informational events.


For more information or to get involved, contact Kathryn Evans at Community Creating Opportunity: kathryn@cco.org or 816-221-9900 x 106