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Missouri Jobs with Justice rally shows disapproval of Gov. Parson’s decision to cut Medicaid expansion

Updated: May. 14, 2021 at 5:07 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - In August of 2020, more than half of Missouri voters approved to expand Medicaid, allowing an additional 275,000 Missourians to become eligible.

Missouri lawmakers have since voted against the expansion. Gov. Mike Parson has also noted that he will not expand Medicaid services.

Dozens gathered Friday at Park Central Square, carrying signs and chanting showing their disapproval of this decision.

“I think it’s a disgrace, and I am embarrassed to live in the state of Missouri,” said protester Bridget Close.

“It’s a tragedy. It’s a tragedy for our democracy, of the people, by the people, for the people. It violated those very democratic principles. It’s a violation of our constitution of the principles our state elected officials promised to protect,” said rally speaker Dr. John Mihalevich.

Gov. Parson said the state’s constitution prohibits ballot initiatives from appropriating funds without also providing a source of revenue. He said the state’s $35 billion budget approved by lawmakers last week didn’t provide the funding he had requested for an expansion of Medicaid.

”Governor Parson, it takes courage to do the right thing when your colleagues want you to do the wrong thing,“ said speaker TJ Appleby.

”Medicaid expansion is a moral imperative for our state. We’ve got to take care of this marginalized population,“ said Mihalevich

”This can literally save lives, but it can also save Missouri money long-term. Not funding Medicaid expansion is a bad economic decision and an unhealthy one for our state,” said speaker Dr. Kaycee Morton.

Currently, in order to qualify for Medicaid, a family of three would need to make less than $5,400. The expansion would have raised that threshold to $18,000.

Republican members of Missouri Statehouse were unavailable to comment due to the legislative session. The decision is certain to face legal challenges.

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