In August 2020, in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, after years of politicians failing to act, Missourians voted to expand Medicaid and deliver health care to over 275,000 of their friends, family, and neighbors. Today, over one year later, Missourians are finally able to enroll in Medicaid coverage.
Medicaid coverage was originally set to begin on July 1, 2021, but was delayed due to the legislature’s attempt to overturn the will of the voters and Governor Mike Parson’s refusal to implement the law. On July 22, 2021, the Missouri Supreme Court sided with Missouri voters in a unanimous ruling that mandated that the state begin enrolling Missourians in Medicaid expansion as constitutionally required.
The Fairness Project supported the Healthcare for Missouri campaign from the beginning, providing policy expertise, staffing, polling, and deep day-to-day partnership with coalition partners. And on October 1, hundreds of thousands of Missourians began receiving life-saving care, thanks to Medicaid expansion and the work we did alongside grassroots partners and Missouri voters.
“So many people in Missouri have been waiting nearly a decade for Medicaid expansion after doing the hard work to get it on the ballot, and today they finally received the life-saving care they need and deserve,” said Kelly Hall, Executive Director of the Fairness Project. “After relentless attempts from extremist legislators to block the will of the people at every turn, the start of enrollment is a win for Missourians and a win for democracy.”
Missouri marks The Fairness Project’s sixth successful Medicaid expansion ballot measure, following victories in Maine, Idaho, Nebraska, Utah, and Oklahoma. Together these successful ballot campaigns have provided health coverage to over 870,000 Americans. The Fairness Project is currently supporting South Dakotans Decide Healthcare, a nonpartisan coalition advancing a 2022 Medicaid expansion amendment to South Dakota’s constitution.
Missourians who would like assistance navigating the application process can go to covermissouri.org for help or call 1-800-466-3213.