On Tuesday (August 4), voters in Missouri passed a constitutional amendment to become the 38th state to expand Medicaid since the passage of the Affordable Care Act in 2010. Voters approved the measure by a 53%-47% margin.
The vote means an estimated 230,000 adults and 40,000 children in Missouri will be covered under the health insurance program, with the federal government assuming 90% of the costs. The ballot initiative came after years of state lawmakers refusing to expand Medicaid. Voters in Oklahoma passed expansion last month, as did voters in 2018 in Idaho, Nebraska, and Utah.
In addition to campaigning by hospitals and other groups in support of the amendment, many clergy members also backed the Medicaid expansion effort. Missouri Faith Voices has long pushed the effort, gathering signatures for the ballot initiative — and organizing a 2014 protest in the state Capitol that led to 23 ministers being arrested, charged, and convicted of misdemeanor trespassing for singing, chanting, and praying. Several of the ‘Medicaid 23’ were Baptist ministers.
Learn more about the Medicaid expansion push in two episodes of Word&Way’s award-winning podcast recorded earlier this year. Both guests spoke in February at an advocacy conference cosponsored by Word&Way.
109. W.T. Edmonson of the ‘Medicaid 23’ (Feb. 14, 2020)
112. Cassandra Gould of Missouri Faith Voices (Mar. 3, 2020)