Speeches & Commentary

It’s official: Medicaid expansion passes in Missouri

To our Washington University community,

Election night was an emotional rollercoaster, but Medicaid expansion, at long last, has won the approval of Missouri voters and will be enshrined in our state’s constitution.

The passage of Amendment 2 is a tremendous victory for a quarter-million Missourians who no longer have to live in fear of getting sick or hurt because they will now have healthcare coverage when they need it. In addition to improving access to life-saving care for our most vulnerable citizens, Medicaid expansion will inject billions of dollars into our economy, create thousands of new jobs and benefit communities across our state at a time when it is needed most.

We are proud of the energy and excitement that surrounded this measure at the School of Medicine and the university broadly. Our health economists crunched the numbers and assessed the impact of Medicaid expansion on the state budget. We had faculty and students speak to media, create video testimonials for social media and collect signatures in the field. Several of our student groups, including Lou Health, helped people get their absentee ballots requested and notarized, as well as volunteered at the polls. The response was overwhelming and indicative of the cohesion on this issue, and we are grateful for the outstanding commitment to passing Amendment 2.

With the election behind us, our state now begins the work of implementing the people’s will.

There was a lot of passion on both sides of this issue. While we remain respectful of the differing viewpoints, we are calling on our state’s elected leaders to work together with a sense of common compassion to implement Amendment 2 so low-income Missourians can have the high-quality medical care they need to pursue healthy and productive lives.

Thank you again for your commitment to passing Medicaid expansion and helping to end the kind of systemic inequity that works against those trying to improve their lives. This may be the singularly most important thing we can do to invest in the health and welfare of the St. Louis Region.


David H. Perlmutter, MD
Executive Vice Chancellor for Medical Affairs

Andrew D. Martin, PhD