After nearly a decade of legislative inaction a grassroots coalition anchored by Missouri Jobs with Justice Voter Action activists have succeeded in placing Medicaid expansion on the ballot, but Republican Governor Mike Parson is doing his best to prevent it from passing.
In a move calculated to minimize the political blowback to Republican candidates, Gov. Mike Parson on May 26 exercised his constitutional authority to shift a statewide vote on Medicaid expansion from the high-turnout Nov. 10 general election to the lower-participation Aug. 4 primary ballot.
If approved, the Medicaid expansion proposal, known as Amendment 2, could provide health care coverage to more than 200,000 Missourians who don’t have it.
Under the federal Affordable Care Act, if the state increases its Medicaid eligibility threshold to 138 percent of the federal poverty level, the federal government will pay 90 percent of the cost, but Missouri Republicans have opposed expanding the program for most of the past decade.
Missouri is one of just 14 states that hasn’t implemented expansion.
NOW MORE THAN EVER
Missouri needs healthcare now more than ever, Democratic gubernatorial challenger Nicole Galloway said, “but Governor Parson put his own political needs ahead of hundreds of thousands of working Missourians.”
A grassroots coalition anchored by Missouri Jobs with Justice Voter Action activists gathered 341,440 signatures to place Medicaid expansion on the ballot, said Richard von Glahn, policy director or Missouri Jobs with Justice. “Now we will have the opportunity to vote Medicaid Expansion into law on Aug. 4,” von Glahn said. “This is going to be a quick campaign, but over the next 70 days we will reach out and talk to our friends, family and neighbors to ensure that the 230,000 hardworking Missourians locked in the coverage gap finally get the healthcare coverage that they need.”