With 53% of the vote, Missourians have chosen to say YES on Amendment 2 to expand Medicaid. Missouri joins a growing list of states, including Oklahoma, that have expanded Medicaid through ballot initiative. Though we have voted in favor tonight, Medicaid expansion will not be fully implemented until 2021.
Having worked on the Yes on 2: Healthcare for Missouri ballot initiative as Coalitions Director, it is wonderful to see my hard work and the work of so many volunteers become a reality. Nearly 230,000 Missourians are reported to be impacted by the passage of this measure, and we can expect billions of our taxpayer dollars to come home to help Missourians access the care they need.
Since the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in 2010, Missouri has had the opportunity to expand its Medicaid program to include individuals 138% FPL, but has failed to do so. Expansion in 2010 would have been 100% paid for by the Federal government, instead Missouri will benefit from a 90% reimbursement to provide care to this new population. To this day, Missouri lawmakers continue to deny access to lifesaving resources and many remain opposed to its passage — even though several former lawmakers have come out in support of the measure.
I’m proud to have stood up for what I believe is right, even when our elected leaders fail to see its benefits. The health of Missouri and its economy is far more important than politics — which is exactly what lawmakers have been playing since the passage of the ACA. On August 4th, 2020, Missourians stood up to the political establishment to say enough is enough — healthcare is a right we all deserve.