Missouri lawmakers say Medicaid expansion is in courts' hands

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Missouri lawmakers said the decision to not expand Medicaid in the state will likely result in a lawsuit, according to an article in the News Tribune.

Gov. Mike Parson formally withdrew plans for the MO HealthNet expansion May 13, citing that a means of funding had not been included in the ballot initiative.

"Medicaid expansion will still happen as the constitution requires," said House Minority Leader Rep. Crystal Quade, D-Springfield, "but because of the governor's dishonorable action, it will take a court order to do it."

The expansion would provide coverage to an additional 275,000 low-income residents. Under President Joe Biden's American Rescue Plan, the state stands to receive an additional $1.2 billion in federal funding as an incentive to expand the Medicaid system.

State Sen. Mike Bernskoetter, R-Jefferson City, said he did not vote in favor of the expansion.

"While we have money to fund it this year, it is borrowed money," he said. "When the federal funds dry up, I believe we will have a large number of people making a living wage that will then be entitled to something we can't afford."

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