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ICYMI: Fact Check Proves Once and For All That Missouri Gov. Mike Parson Did Kick 100,000 Children Off Their Health Care

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In her campaign ads, Nicole Galloway tells Missourians that Parson kicked 100,000 kids off their health care – an assertion the Parson campaign has desperately tried to refute.


No dice. An independent fact checker just rated the claim as accurate, saying that the “Parson administration did remove almost 100,000 kids from Medicaid, as Galloway said.”


Politifact’s investigation into the claim revealed that “from June 2018, the month Parson took office, to December 2019, the number of children enrolled in the program dropped by 96,989.” While Parson has chalked this up to the “economy,” experts have said that’s just not true. A former chair of the MO HealthNet Oversight Committee even confirmed that kicking these children off their health insurance was a direct result of the system used by Missouri Republicans, saying, “No other state did it that way.”


As governor, Galloway has vowed to restore health care to the children who had it ripped away by Parson.


Read the fact check below.


Politifact: Parson administration did remove almost 100,000 kids from Medicaid, as Galloway said


Missouri State Auditor Nicole Galloway has argued that Gov. Mike Parson can’t be trusted to expand Medicaid, something voters approved in August. She has made it a cornerstone of her campaign for Parson’s seat.


In an Oct. 4 Facebook post, Galloway reinforced her argument by saying the Parson administration “purged 100,000 kids from Medicaid.”


Galloway has repeated this claim in a number of TV ads. In an ad entitled “First Thing,” she said that Parson “cut health care from 100,000 children.” In an ad entitled “Top Priority,” she asserts that Parson “kicked 100,000 kids off their health care.” In an ad entitled “Urgency,” she said that Parson responded to rising health-care costs by “cutting coverage for hundreds of thousands.”


[…]


Data from the Department of Social Services shows that from June 2018, the month Parson took office, to December 2019, the number of children enrolled in the program dropped by 96,989.


Parson and other Republicans have previously said this is a result of fewer people needing the program due to an improving economy.


Experts were skeptical of this explanation.


“It wasn’t the economy,” said Timothy McBride, a professor at Washington University in St. Louis and former chair of the state MO HealthNet Oversight Committee. “It was the process they used.”


[…]


After pressure from Democrats for an investigation, top staff at the Department of Social Services acknowledged in a legislative hearing that the state was dropping children from the program when their parents no longer qualified even when the children themselves still did.


“When I talked to people in other states, they were really surprised that that’s how we did it,” McBride said. “They said, ‘no, that’s not how it should’ve been done.’ No other state did it that way.”


[…]


Our ruling


On Facebook and in campaign ads, Galloway said that “Governor Parson’s administration purged 100,000 kids from Medicaid rolls.”


The Missouri Department of Social Services’s data shows that 96,989 children were dropped from Medicaid under Parson’s administration from June to December 2019.


A letter from Parsons’ campaign attorney states that “the governor has, at no time, taken any policy decision to change eligibility for children on Medicaid or any other health coverage in Missouri.”


This does not refute Galloway’s claim though. While Parsons may not have taken a formal step to change policy regarding Medicaid eligibility, we found that, under his leadership, the Department of Social Services changed the process for which eligibility is reviewed. That change resulted in 96,989 children being cut from Medicaid when they were still eligible.


That’s still about 3,000 children short of Galloway’s claim, but her argument that Parson’s administration removed a huge number of children from Medicaid is still accurate. We rate this claim Mostly True.