Politics

Missouri Governor announces he will not be implementing expansion of Medicaid coverage in the state

Less than a year after Missouri voters approved a constitutional amendment expanding Medicaid coverage, Gov. Mike Parson (R) said Thursday he will drop plans to implement the expansion after legislators refused to provide funding.

Missouri residents passed Medicaid expansion with 53.25 percent of the vote on Aug. 4. Parson sent a letter to the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services formally withdrawing plans to expand MO HealthNet, the state’s Medicaid program. He said the legislature’s refusal to fund the expansion threatened the entire program’s fiscal solvency. “Although I was never in support of MO HealthNet expansion, I always said that I would uphold the ballot amendment if it passed. The majority of Missouri voters supported it, and we included funds for the expansion in our budget proposal,” Parson said in a statement. “However, without a revenue source or funding authority from the General Assembly, we are unable to proceed with the expansion at this time.”

Robin Rudowitz, Kaiser Family Foundation vice president and co-director for the Program on Medicaid and the Uninsured, confirmed that Missouri is the only state to withdraw plans to expand Medicaid once they had been implemented. There are 12 states who have not moved to expand Medicaid: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

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ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH

POLITICS EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE

PHOTO CREDITS: ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH

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