In the Aug. 4 primary election, Missouri voters will be voting on an amendment to the Missouri constitution to permanently expand Medicaid eligibility. Missouri Right to Life PAC opposes this amendment, Amendment 2, on the ballot because it could open the door to taxpayer-funded abortions and threaten state pro-life programs.
Currently, Medicaid dollars are restricted from being used to fund most abortions by the Hyde Amendment, which is an annual rider on a federal appropriations bill. Before Hyde was put in place, an estimated 300,000 abortions nationally were paid for by taxpayers every year.
While the Hyde Amendment has passed for the last 40 years, it is now a target of anti-life legislators who have vowed to defeat the measure which requires only a simple majority vote of both houses of Congress every year. The defeat of the Hyde Amendment is in the Democrat Party platform. The Hyde Amendment is opposed by the leaders of the House and presumptive Democrat presidential candidate Joe Biden.
It’s the wrong time to expand Medicaid when the Hyde Amendment is under attack. If the initiative is approved, and the Hyde Amendment falls after that, the initiative may double the number of surgical abortions that Medicaid would pay for in Missouri.
Even with the Hyde Amendment, expanding Medicaid will greatly increase existing Medicaid payments for abortions caused by the “morning after” pills.
Since the initiative requires the state to maximize the federal share of Medicaid dollars, the state cannot replace Medicaid programs with its own programs that will not pay abortionists for non-abortion services. This opens the door to more taxpayer money going to Planned Parenthood.
This provision for maximizing will also prevent the state from paying for lawyers, including the attorney general’s staff, to attempt to obtain protection for the unborn if the Hyde Amendment is ended.
It is not surprising that Planned Parenthood and other pro-abortion organizations are among Amendment 2’s most active supporters. Expanding Medicaid would shovel more money into Planned Parenthood and their abortion business.
Amendment 2 proposes a state constitutional amendment that, if adopted, cannot be amended by the legislature but only by another vote of the people. For all intents and purposes, this Medicaid expansion will be a permanent threat to increasing tax-payer funded abortions. Thousands of unborn babies will rely on the temporary and threatened protection of the Hyde Amendment for protection.
Medicaid is not “free money” for the state. Every taxpayer pays taxes to the federal government for the federal share as well as taxes to the state government for the state’s share. And every payment of federal dollars toward Medicaid expenses must be matched by the state’s percentage share of those expenses.
The Missouri Department of Social Services estimates the state’s cost for the first year of expanded Medicaid services under Amendment 2 would be over $200 million. Where is the state going to get this money when they’ve already had to cut $400 million from the budget because of COVID-19?
The stress on the Missouri budget would threaten several state pro-life programs like Show Me Healthy Babies and the tax credits for alternatives to abortion.
Abortion is not health care. It is wrong to ask the people to pay for more abortions as the price for expanding Medicaid coverage in Missouri. Missouri Right to Life PAC opposes Amendment 2 and urges Missouri voters to vote “NO” on Medicaid Expansion on Aug. 4.
Susan Klein is the executive director of the Missouri Right to Life State Political Action Committee.