Governor Jay Nixon is imploring Missouri residents to lobby their lawmakers in a final push to expand Medicaid coverage for lower-income adults.
Tuesday, Nixon headlined an hour-long capitol rotunda rally that his administration said drew more than 1,000 people.
Many were working people who do not have jobs where health benefits are not provided.
Nixon indicated they live in a world just one health problem away from destitution.
â??A world where it's easier for a worker to get health care by quitting a job than by taking one,â?? Governor Nixon said. â??Folks that is flat wrong."
One pressure point in the debate is a concern that Medicaid expansion is intended to replace government payments to small, rural hospitals.
But the Obama administration has decided to delay the hospital reductions for a year.
"In my view, they should not feel comforted,â?? Missouri Nurses Association President, Rebecca McLanahan said. â??This system needs to be fixed and the time is now. They people of Missouri need it. The patients of Missouri need it."
Republican legislative leaders have so far refused to expand medicaid, citing the potential long-term costs to the state.