With contributions from Ryan Barker.
At the Missouri Foundation for Health (MFH), we focus on public health insurance through our Health Policy shop and two of our Strategic Initiatives (Advocacy and Medicaid Expansion). Our work encompasses research, grants, education, and contract work to achieve our goals of protecting, expanding, and enhancing the Medicaid and CHIP programs.
Examples of our Health Policy work include a variety of approaches. We partnered with the Packard Foundation to add a Missouri grantee to their Finish Line Campaign to protect and expand children’s coverage through policy/systems change. We work directly with the legislature through our Summer Institute which brings five to seven state Republican House members together for four to five full days of health policy-focused education with a heavy emphasis on the Medicaid program. Another exciting project involves working directly with the state Administration and Civilla to transform benefits enrollment in Missouri by creating a faster, simpler, and more human‐centered process for Missouri’s public benefit programs. Finally, Policy staff produce research and educational materials focused on Medicaid (e.g., our recent report on the economic benefits of Medicaid expansion in the state produced by REMI).
Our Advocacy and Medicaid Expansion initiatives also have a heavy emphasis on the Medicaid and CHIP programs. Our Advocacy initiative includes a cohort of 12 diverse advocacy organizations that all focus on marginalized, low-income, and underserved populations. They approach their work in a variety of ways from grassroots organizing to legal aid to working under the dome with legislators. These grantees receive a $500,000 five-year general operating support grant and are required to participate in eight cohort meetings per year which have the purpose of building an effective and cohesive field of advocates.
Our Medicaid Expansion initiative is focused on the effort to expand the program through a ballot initiative in August 2020. MFH is providing advocacy grants, a public education campaign, voter registration/GOTV grants, and possible litigation support for after the vote. We also are looking towards implementation and are forming a Research and Planning group to assist us to think through the implementation of expansion within state government, the best approach to enrollment, and how to ensure access for both new and existing Medicaid enrollees.