Missouri Legislature Tries To Back Out Of Voter-Approved Medicaid Expansion – By Sebastian Martinez Valdivia (NPR) / April 8 2021
It is hard to qualify for Medicaid as an adult in Missouri. Childless adults aren’t eligible for coverage through the state’s program — dubbed MO HealthNet — at all, and parents can’t make more than 21% of the federal poverty level: $5,400 in 2021 for a family of three.
That was all set to change on July 1 because of a constitutional amendment voters approved last summer that made Missouri the 38th state to expand Medicaid coverage through the Affordable Care Act. Childless adults would be covered if they made under around $17,770.
As many as 275,000 additional Missourians could get coverage — if there’s funding for the program. But in the deep-red state, which voted for former President Donald Trump by more than 15 percentage points in 2020, lawmakers are looking to undo the voters’ decision.
As it crafts the budget for the next fiscal year, the state legislature has moved to strip funding for Medicaid expansion. Rep. Cody Smith, the Republican chair of the House Budget Committee, separated the money for expansion into its own bill, which the GOP-controlled committee voted down in March.