(Jefferson City) A campaign attempting to expand Medicaid in Missouri has turned in nearly 350,000 initiative petition signatures, about twice as many as required to put a vote of the people on an election ballot later this year.
The Healthcare for Missouri campaign aims to put an estimated 230,000 additional low-income adults on government-funded health care.
Governor Mike Parson says the state budget is tough enough to handle with the coronavirus outbreak, let alone if Medicaid is expanded.
Parson expects the state’s Medicaid rolls to increase without expanding eligibility due to the increase in unemployment.
Parson, a Republican, goes on to say the state cannot afford to boost eligibility.
Of course the decision to expand Medicaid would not be up to the governor.
It would be put to a vote by the citizens of Missouri in either the August or November election.
37 states have expanded Medicaid, including Republican leaning states like Arkansas and Louisiana.
Missouri is one of 13 states that have not done so.
Most of those 13 states are located in the southeastern and southern sections of the country.