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DGA Statement on Medicaid Expansion in Missouri

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Yesterday, voters in Missouri approved a ballot measure to expand Medicaid in their state, despite numerous efforts from Republican Gov. Mike Parson to block it. Missouri was one of 13 states that haven’t expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. 

DGA Chair New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy released the following statement:

“Missouri Gov. Mike Parson’s political maneuvers have failed – Missourians have overruled his shameful attempts to block Medicaid expansion and scored a huge victory for accessible, affordable health care. Access to affordable health care is critically important, especially to the millions of Americans who are uninsured or who have lost their job as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Medicaid expansion could also reduce the likelihood of more rural hospital closures. Missouri has lost seven rural hospitals since 2010, putting Missouri in the top five states for hospital closures.

“The battle isn’t over yet – the stakes this November are still high. Gov. Mike Parson will likely try to drag his feet on implementation, and health care remains a critical issue to Missouri voters. Democratic gubernatorial nominee Nicole Galloway will fight for Medicaid expansion and lower health care costs, just as Democratic governors across the country have done.”

Medicaid expansion has been strongly supported by voters across party lines. Just last month, voters in Oklahoma approved a Medicaid expansion ballot measure, and in 2015, Mike Pence expanded it as governor of Indiana.

Democratic governors have always led on health care and continue to do so, while many Republican governors still refuse to expand access to affordable health care in their states.

The 12 states that have refused to expand Medicaid under the ACA all have Republican governors or Republican legislatures that have blockedDemocraticgovernors from increasing access to health care. In the states that have refused to expand Medicaid, 40 percent of people who lose their health insurance when they lose their job will end up with no coverage at all.