JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – The fight to expand Medicaid in Missouri is moving from the Captiol to the courthouse.
A lawsuit filed in Cole County looks to force the state to expand its Medicaid program.
In August 2020, 53 percent of Missouri voters approved a constitutional amendment allowing more people in the state to qualify for the aid, but last week, lawmakers refused to fund the expansion even though Governor Mike Parson had set aside $120 million for it in his budget. Lawmakers said there was no way to fund it and approved the annual budget without money for the expansion.
“The majority of Missouri voters supported it, and we included funds for the expansion in our budget proposal,” Governor Mike Parson said. “However, without a revenue source or funding authority from the General Assembly, we are unable to proceed with the expansion at this time.”
The expansion had an estimated cost of nearly $2 billion.
Since there wasn’t a plan to fund the ballot initiative and Missouri lawmakers declined to find a way to fund it, the state doesn’t have the authority to move ahead with expanding Medicaid at this time, according to a news release from Parson’s office.