(CNN)Republican Missouri Gov. Mike Parson said Thursday that he will not expand Medicaid — a change approved by voters and scheduled to start July 1 — because lawmakers did not appropriate funding.
“Although I was never in support of MO HealthNet expansion, I always said that I would uphold the ballot amendment if passed,” said Parson. “However, without a revenue source or funding authority from the General Assembly, we are unable to proceed with the expansion at this time and must withdraw our State Plan Amendments to ensure Missouri’s existing MO HealthNet program remains solvent.”
He sent a letter to the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services withdrawing the state’s expansion plan, saying Missouri will resubmit it should funding circumstances change.
Democratic state lawmakers and consumer advocates swiftly responded, saying the courts would force Parson to broaden coverage to low-income residents who make less than roughly $18,000 a year for an individual.
“By backtracking on implementation of Medicaid expansion, Gov. Parson is breaking his promise to the people of this state and violating his oath to uphold the Missouri Constitution,” tweeted state Rep. Crystal Quade, House minority leader. “Medicaid expansion will still happen as the constitution requires, but because of the governor’s dishonorable action, it will take a court order to do it.”
“We have every confidence that litigation will result in Medicaid expansion beginning on time for t
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