Initiative petition expanding Medicaid approved to gather signatures

   

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Full implementation of Medicaid expansion could either cost the state as much as $200 million a year or save the state as much as $1 billion a year, according to the fiscal impact of an initiative petition recently approved to circulate.

This week, the Secretary of State’s Office gave approval for signatures to be collected on Petition 2020-53, filed by Heidi Miller. The initiative petition aims to expand Medicaid to include low-income Missourians.  

The fair ballot language asks Missourians to amend state law to “adopt Medicaid Expansion for persons 19 to 64 years old with an income level at or below 133% of the federal poverty level, as set forth in the Affordable Care Act.”

The potential fiscal impact is calculated by the State Auditor’s Office. There is a projected one-time cost of $6.4 million and an unknown annual impact by 2026 ranging from an additional $200 million cost to a savings of $1 billion.

Miller has also filed Petition 2020-62, which is a slightly altered version of Medicaid expansion.

To date, the Secretary of State’s Office has received 62 initiative petitions for the 2020 general election ballot. Of those, 19 have been approved to circulate, one is open to comment, three are closed to comment, nine have been withdrawn, and 29 have been rejected.

Before circulating petitions for signatures, state law requires groups must first have the form of their petition approved by the Secretary of State’s Office. The office then has 23 days after the formation of the petition is approved to draft ballot summary language. Every proposal received by the Secretary of State’s Office is sent to the Auditor’s Office and the Attorney General’s Office.

Petitioners have until May 3, 2020, to deliver signed petitions to the Secretary of State’s Office. Proposed constitutional changes must be signed by eight percent of legal voters in any six of the eight congressional districts, which amounts to a minimum of 160,199 signatures. Proposed statutory changes — none to date have been approved for circulation — must be signed by five percent of legal voters in any six of the eight congressional districts, which amounts to a minimum of 100,126 signatures.

More about the initiative petition process can be found on Secretary of State’s website.

This article is part of a periodic update on the initiative petition process. Other stories in the series can be found here