Missouri Withdraws State Plan Amendments For Mo Healthnet Expansion

JEFFERSON CITY, MO (STL.News) Today the Missouri Department of Social Services (DSS) submitted a letter to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) formally withdrawing its State Plan Amendments (SPAs) for MO HealthNet expansion.

On August 4, 2020, Missouri voters approved a constitutional amendment expanding MO HealthNet eligibility to individuals between 100 and 138 percent of the federal poverty level (FPL).  However, the Missouri Constitution prohibits ballot initiatives from appropriating funds without creating a revenue source.

“Although I was never in support of MO HealthNet expansion, I always said that I would uphold the ballot amendment if it passed.  The majority of Missouri voters supported it, and we included funds for the expansion in our budget proposal,” Governor Mike Parson said. “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.”

Prior to the August 4 vote, the Missouri Court of Appeals Western District issued an opinion in June 2020 explicitly stating that the MO HealthNet expansion ballot initiative did not create a revenue source or direct the General Assembly to appropriate funds. 

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