Medicaid expansion protestors rally at Capitol

Hundreds of protestors rallied at the state Capitol to demand Medicaid expansion to legislators Wednesday.

Protesters from Kansas City, Missouri Medicaid Coalition and groups from around the state say they're protesting for multiple reasons, but Medicaid expansion is the main reason they came to the Capitol.

Arielle Speer explains why she joined in the protest, "I'm here to let the legislature and senators the senators know that I'm very disappointed they didn't expand Medicaid there are so many people in the state of Missouri that are dying that have no means to go to a doctor and to get assistance."

Protesters say that Missourians are feeling the burden of the legislatorâ??s inaction on Medicaid expansion.

State Representative Brandon Ellington says, "There's no real reason that you have to pass anything â?¦that you have money to improve except for a reaction from the individual whose name is tied to it...that's why we haven't passed Medicaid expansion...we understand if we pass Medicaid expansion it's gonna help the rural areas more than it helps the city."

The Missouri Medicaid coalition says there are 300,000 uninsured Missourians stuck in the coverage gap.

They continue to say there are less jobs and hospitals in the state because legislators have failed to expand Medicaid.

Republican leaders have said in the past that expanding Medicaid has no chance of succeeding.

Pastor Branden Mims who is a part of the Human Dignity and Economic Justice Coalition says, "We were here on opening day we gonna be here on closing day...because we're serious and that's what we want them to take away from this that we've talked to the people we've met with the folk that you say don't want this and we talked to them for ourselves and you're wrong that's what we want them to know."

"I feel like this experience of being in the gap was as real to the senators and the legislatures that if they had a daughter, a son a family member that fell in the gap that they would take it more seriously," says Speer.

Protesters also protested for expungement of certain criminal records, criminal reform and police brutality and minimum wage issues.

The legislative session ends Friday, May 15th.