The 34-billion dollar state operating budget given final approval by Missouri lawmakers on Friday does not contain funding for Medicaid expansion. Democrats say Medicaid expansion would help rural areas, noting ten rural Missouri hospitals have closed since 2014. State Representative Dirk Deaton says rural Missourians don’t want Medicaid expansion.
While 53 percent of Missouri voters approved Medicaid expansion in August, the issue failed in 105 of the state’s 114 counties. House Democrats say Medicaid expansion would help the working poor, and say that 13 percent of uninsured workers in Missouri work in health care and social assistance.