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Missouri governor can refuse to expand Medicaid despite voter approval, judge rules

by The Associated Press | June 23, 2021 at 3:41 p.m.
Missouri Gov. Mike Parson delivers the State of the State address at Jefferson City, Mo., in this Jan. 27, 2021 file photo, as Lt. Gov. Mike Kehoe listens at right. (AP/Jeff Roberson)

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — A Missouri judge on Wednesday ruled that Gov. Mike Parson acted lawfully when he refused to enact Medicaid expansion.

Cole County Circuit Judge Jon Beetem on Wednesday ruled that Parson acted lawfully when he refused to implement the program.

Voters last year amended the state Constitution to expand access to the health insurance program to hundreds of thousands more low-income adults.

But Parson said he can’t expand Medicaid because the Legislature refused to pay for it.

Two single mothers and another low-income woman sued in response to try to force Missouri to provide the coverage.

An appeal of Beetem’s ruling is expected.

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