Last August we joined our Partners and hundreds of thousands of Missourians in celebration of a successful statewide campaign to expand Medicaid. Missouri voters approved the state constitutional amendment to expand access to health care to more than 270,000 Missourians with 53% of the vote. Under the measure, newly eligible adults would have been able to enroll and receive access to health care coverage on July 1, 2021.
However, this was not the case, and implementation was delayed and access to health care coverage denied.
The governor withdrew the state’s plan to expand Medicaid after state legislators refused to fund the constitutional amendment. A lawsuit on behalf of newly eligible people was filed to force the state to implement the People’s mandate to expand access to health care, and the case eventually made its way to the Missouri Supreme Court.
This August, we are celebrating once again. Not only are we celebrating the Missouri Supreme Court’s unanimous decision affirming the state’s duty to expand Medicaid, but we are also celebrating the unrelenting efforts of residents and our Partners across the state of Missouri to hold public servants accountable to the People – children and families in this state. No family should choose between paying for lifesaving care, accessing preventative care, postponing needed medical treatment and putting food on the table.
What we have shared before still rings true: sustained public engagement, mobilization and democratic action can generate, allocate, and reallocate public resources for the benefit of children and families.
Cheryl D.S. Walker
Interim President and CEO
To read the rest of our August eNewsletter, click here.