Missouri votes to approve Medicaid expansion

Missouri residents voted in favor of expanding the state's Medicaid program Aug. 4, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Fifty-three percent of voters supported the measure, which will expand Medicaid coverage to 230,000-plus adults in Missouri whose income is at or below 138 percent of the federal poverty level.

The measure faced opposition from the state's Republican-controlled legislature. Those against the decision argued that Medicaid expansion will increase costs for the state and lead to less funding for schools and other social programs. 

But supporters, including hospitals and health systems, said expanding Medicaid will give the healthcare system an economic boost. Richard Liekweg, president and CEO of BJC HealthCare in St. Louis, told the publication the measure will "keep small, rural hospitals open that are operating on a thread of an operating margin today."

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