A Constitutional Right to Medicaid Coverage


There is no single issue more important to the Foundation’s work and mission than Medicaid expansion and achieving health equity in Missouri. In August of 2020, a substantial majority of Missouri voters approved an amendment to ingrain Medicaid expansion into Missouri’s constitution. Thanks to the will of the people, expanded Medicaid enrollment was set to begin on July 1 of this year, granting Missourians making up to $18,000 a year access to high-quality affordable health insurance coverage. However, due to the state’s decision not to move forward, uncertainty now clouds the future of the program.

Missourians who qualify under expansion—specifically parents and single individuals—have a constitutional right to Medicaid, and Missouri Foundation for Health is committed to making sure that that access is granted. The sooner the state implements expansion, the sooner Missouri will reap the economic and budgetary benefits that have been well documented. Now is the time. The American Rescue Plan provides an additional $1.15 billion in federal funding to Missouri, which would pay for our Medicaid program for years to come. Litigation is the next step to ensuring that Medicaid expansion is realized in our state.

“Every day this process is delayed is another day nearly 250,000 Missourians go without the access to health care they need. These are our neighbors and friends who have often been delaying essential care and checkups for years,” said Foundation President and CEO Dr. Dwayne Proctor. “We don’t enter into this situation lightly, but Medicaid is a vital component to the Foundation’s work to achieve health equity. The people have spoken; it’s time to do right by them and prioritize their health and well-being.”