By a slim 53% of the vote in Tuesday’s primary election, Missouri joins 37 other states and will expand Medicaid. Of Missouri’s 114 counties, 105 voted against adding another 230,000 low-income adults to government-funded healthcare.
At a press conference Wednesday, Gov. Mike Parson, who opposed expansion, reacted to the ballot measure’s passage.
“The people voted for it we. So we’re going to implement it in the state of Missouri because that was the will of the voters. We just got to figure out – the big thing is where do you find the funding for it right now. You’re probably looking at $200 million or something like that off the bat,” says Parson. “So we’ve got to figure out where that funding is going to come from. Hopefully the economy gets better. Hopefully we can meet that financial obligation a little easier but right now it’s tough times.”
The measure allows the federal government to pick up about 90% of the state’s Medicaid costs while the state covers the other 10%. The projected cost of the expansion has quite the range – either an additional $200 million to the state or a savings of $1 billion.
“We’ll implement it,” says Parson. “We’re just going to have to find the money to be able to pay for it, but we’ll figure that out.”
Under Amendment 2, adults could qualify for government-funded healthcare if they earn up to about $18,000 annually or roughly $36,000 for a household of four.
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