Rep. Cleaver’s Statement on Governor Parson’s Decision Not To Implement Medicaid Expansion

May 14, 2021
Press Release

(Kansas City, MO) – United States Representative Emanuel Cleaver, II (D-MO) released the following statement after Governor Mike Parson announced he would follow the State Legislature’s lead in subverting the will of Missourians by refusing to implement voter-approved and constitutionally-required Medicaid expansion.

“The State’s rejection of voter-approved Medicaid expansion—which would provide health care to more than 270,000 Missourians in the midst of a pandemic—is the latest alarming display of contempt for voters and the rule of law.

“When the State initially refused to act, despite overwhelming evidence that expansion will save our state money, the voters took action and enshrined Medicaid expansion into the Missouri Constitution. Now, the Missouri State Legislature and the Governor are refusing to adhere to the will of Missourians. When this issue is inevitably litigated in court, I hope—and expect—the courts will force the Governor and State Legislature to follow the rule of law.

“Democracy is in danger in America. Whether it is Congressional Republicans lying about the fair and legitimate election of President Biden, leading to the worst attack on our nation’s Capitol in history, or state legislators rejecting a fair and legitimate ballot initiative approved by Missouri voters, these actions only further deteriorate our democratic institutions.

“Some in the GOP have dangerously started down the slippery slope of deciding which laws they want to follow and which ones they do not; which voters they want to hear from and which ones they do not. If more leaders do not stand up for our democratic republic and the rule of law, I fear we may soon wake up one day to find an America that is unrecognizable.”

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Emanuel Cleaver, II is the U.S. Representative for Missouri's Fifth Congressional District, which includes Kansas City, Independence, Lee's Summit, Raytown, Grandview, Sugar Creek, Blue Springs, Grain Valley, Oak Grove, North Kansas City, Gladstone, Claycomo, and all of Ray, Lafayette, and Saline Counties. He is a member of the exclusive House Financial Services Committee; Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Housing, Community Development, and Insurance; member of the Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress; member of the Committee on Homeland Security; and a Senior Whip of the Democratic Caucus. A high-resolution photo of Congressman Cleaver is available here.