Luke Barber bags groceries at Schnucks. He also has a second job, advising disabled people on independent living decisions, like how to navigate various government programs, and prepare for a job interview.
Barber, who is 26 and lives in Des Peres, knows these things firsthand. He was diagnosed as having autism spectrum disorder when he was 7. He struggles, sometimes, with communication. He takes medication and receives mental health services that help him maintain an ability to function in the community.
Barber was looking forward to qualifying for Medicaid under the expansion voters approved last November. He voted for the expansion and even campaigned for it. He ran a long-shot statehouse campaign against Rep. Dean Plocher, R-Des Peres, who may well be the next speaker of the House. It’s because of Plocher and his fellow Republicans that Barber’s plans of qualifying for Medicaid later this summer have been put on hold.