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Parson: Medicaid expansion would be 'additional spending bill'

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Posted at 4:08 PM, May 26, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-26 17:18:08-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Medicaid expansion will be on the Missouri August primary ballot.

Gov. Mike Parson made the announcement during a press conference on Tuesday.

“This was about policy, not politics,” he said.

Putting the issue on the ballot, he said, will let the state know where it stands in relation to the overall budget.

“It’s important we understand the implications of what would be an additional spending bill,” Parson said.

Medicaid expansion, he said, does not have a funding source attached to it and is dependent on general revenue. It competes against the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and higher education for revenue, according to Parson, since there “is no new funding to go along with that.”

He also said it is “critical” to know how voters decide because it will give the state “more time to account for the outcome in our state budget.”

Parson's likely Democratic challenger for governor, State Auditor Nicole Galloway, said in a release that Parson is framing the issue as one of choosing between funding education or funding healthcare.

"Every reputable study and the experience of other states that have expanded Medicaid show clear benefits to Missouri’s bottom line," Galloway said in a statement. "The Governor’s dishonesty won’t work, but it reveals how desperate he is to maintain his hold on power and to deny healthcare to working families.”