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Missouri Protesters Arrested After Demanding Their Lawmakers Pass Medicaid Expansion

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"Missouri Protesters Arrested After Demanding Their Lawmakers Pass Medicaid Expansion"

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CREDIT: Missouri Progress

More than 100 protesters and clergy members were removed from the Missouri Senate galleries on Tuesday, after they burst out into chants demanding the state accept Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion. Missouri is one of 24 states that has not yet accepted the more than $2 billion in federal funds available to the Show-Me state.

The Springfield News-Leader reported that the protesters shouted, “Medicaid Expansion! Do it now!” and “Missouri Senate expand Medicaid, bring dignity, do your jobs!” Capitol police reportedly removed more than 100 people and arrested 23 clergy, delaying the Senate’s session by nearly an hour.

Gov. Jay Nixon (D) supports the expansion, which would provide insurance for tens of thousands of additional Missourians. But despite estimates that refusal to accept the funds would cost state hospitals hundreds of millions of dollars, the Republican-controlled legislature has not passed expansion legislation.

After the protest, a Republican State Senator who has backed expansion tweeted that “it appears that unruly protesters have killed our chances,” as the protests have “emboldened” opponents.

Watch it, courtesy of Progress Missouri:

Protesters in states across the country — including Georgia, Pennsylvania, and South Carolina — have been similarly making their voices heard to legislators who continue to block Medicaid expansion. Last month, a Virginia town hall forum with several Republican state legislators, organized by the anti-Obamacare Americans for Prosperity, was dominated by angry voters demanding the General Assembly accept the funds.

(HT: Kansas & Missouri Kossacks/DailyKos)

Update

This story has been updated to include the fact that 23 clergy members were arrested.

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