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The deep divide: State borders create Medicaid haves and have-nots

October 2, 2019

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Patricia Powers went a few years without health insurance and couldn’t afford regular doctor visits. So she had no idea cancerous tumors were silently growing in both of her breasts.

If Powers lived just across the Mississippi River in Illinois, she would have qualified for Medicaid, the federal-state health insurance program for low-income residents that 36 states and the District of Columbia decided to expand under the Affordable Care Act. But Missouri politicians chose not to expand it — a decision some groups are trying to reverse by getting signatures to put the option on the 2020 ballot.

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