About eight months ago, Missouri voters approved a constitutional amendment expanding the state’s Medicaid program to working families. In fact, here in St. Louis County where my district is located, voters approved the measure by nearly 73 percent. That is an enormous landslide in our state’s most populated county. As a result, Medicaid expansion is now in our state’s constitution.
With such an overwhelming electoral mandate, one would think that even people who did not support the healthcare plan – like the governor and most Republican candidates – would recognize the voters had spoken, and it was time to move forward.
Unfortunately, that is not happening.
To his credit – the governor included funding for Medicaid expansion in his proposed budget. However, the party he leads has rejected that funding in the House of Representatives and has essentially sabotaged the voter-approved healthcare plan. I believe the governor could exert some leadership within his party and fix this mess, and I sincerely hope he does.
Meanwhile, in the Missouri Senate, we will work to find eight reasonable people on the other side of the aisle to join with the Democratic caucus and save healthcare for more than a quarter-million working people.
Every Senator and Representative swore an oath to uphold the Missouri Constitution. Blocking or opposing Medicaid expansion is a violation of that oath. I will not violate my oath and I will always fight for working families.
SEN. DOUG BECK (D-Affton)
Member of Plumbers & Pipefitters Local 562