Union retirees call out Missouri Republicans’ continuing efforts to defund Medicaid

UNION RETIREES, members of the Missouri Alliance of Retired Americans, AFL-CIO, rallied in Jefferson City last week to demand Republican legislators heed the will of the voters and fund Medicaid expansion. – Mo. ARA photo

Jefferson City – With Missouri’s Republican legislators once again ignoring the will of the people by failing to fund the voter-approved and constitutionally mandated expansion of Medicaid in Missouri, union retirees joined by a couple hundred people from other like-minded organizations descended on the State Capitol April 29 to tell Missouri legislators to quit playing politics and fulfill the direction of Missouri voters. 

“Today we stand with many other Missouri voters demanding that Missouri Legislators honor the oath they took to uphold the constitution of Missouri and fully fund Medicaid Expansion,” said David Meinell, president of the Mo. ARA. “We urge all voters to call their senators and tell them to fully fund Medicaid expansion.”

Voters overwhelmingly approved expanding Medicaid eligibility last year with the passage of Amendment 2. Republican Gov. Mike Parson included funding for Medicaid expansion in his proposed budget. But the party he leads rejected that funding in the House of Representatives and the Missouri Senate, and essentially sabotaged the voter-approved healthcare plan.

“I have never seen elected officials so blatantly violate their oath to uphold the constitution as I have this week,” said Senator Doug Beck (D-Affton), a member of Plumbers & Pipefitters Local 562. “It is frustrating and deeply disappointing.”

Beck said the issue is likely now headed the courts, where taxpayers will be on the hook for expensive legal fees.

“What will state officials do on July 1 when the constitution says Medicaid expansion goes into effect,” Beck asked. “Will they enroll eligible individuals? Or will they ignore the constitution and block working women and men from the healthcare they need? All eyes are on the governor and his administration to see what happens next.


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