Medicaid Expansion in Missouri Policy Briefs and Discussion Series

Community Engagement; Policy; Public Health

Washington University and the Brown School recognize the importance of Medicaid expansion for Missouri. Increasing access to health care is an incredibly important way to advance health equity — one our School’s defining goals. On August 4, 2020, Medicaid expansion, Amendment 2, will be on the primary ballot for a vote.   

The content below provides context on the impact of the expansion as well as information about a series of July discussions on the topic that will be hosted by the Brown School.

Impact on the State Budget 

Brown School faculty members Tim McBride, Bernard Becker Professor, and Abby Barker, research assistant professor, along with many others, are using key data to model the impact of Medicaid expansion, including the impact on the state budget.  

These scholars, affiliated with the Institute for Public Health’s Center for Health and Economic Policy (CHEP) looked at the experience of other states that expanded Medicaid and they built a fiscal model to estimate the impact of expansion on the Missouri Medicaid budget.  

In their most likely, middle-of-the-road scenario, they estimate that the policy would result in $38.9 million in savings in the first year, even after the state allocates its obligations for 10% of the expanded services. They also predict that the savings to the state after five years would be over $1 billion dollars per year. 

Read the full policy brief: Effects of Medicaid Expansion on Coverage, Access, Outcomes, and Costs: Implications for Missouri.

Said Barker: “Medicaid expansion also has the obvious benefit of increasing access to healthcare – and in particular preventive healthcare services – which has the potential to save money by keeping low-income Missourians healthier and more able to be productive as taxpaying members of the workforce. None of these benefits was included in our analysis, which focused just on the net impact to the Medicaid budget.”  

Other related reports from CHEP include:  

Three Part Series: Supporting a Healthier Missouri 

During an upcoming three-part discussion series, Supporting a Healthier Missouri, the Brown School will be taking a critical look at the merits of expanding Medicaid, particularly as it relates to racial equity, rural communities, and families with children.  

Opening remarks for all events will be provided by David H. Perlmutter, MD, executive vice chancellor for medical affairs and dean of the School of Medicine.  

Register here for any of the below

Moderators for all events will be Gary Parker, Associate Dean for External Affairs at the Brown School and Director of the Clark-Fox Policy Institute; and Cynthia Williams, Assistant Dean for Community Partnerships at the Brown School.

Part 1: Supporting a Healthier Missouri: Medicaid Expansion and Racial Equity 
Co-sponsored by Forward Through Ferguson, CareSTL Health, and the Clark-Fox Policy Institute  
Wednesday, July 15; 12:30-1:30 pm, CT 

The convergence of two public health crises – COVID-19 and racism – is shining a bright light on profound health disparities in our state and coverage gaps that disproportionately impact people of color. Expanding Medicaid in Missouri is a tremendous step toward alleviating the disparate health burdens on poverty-impacted Missourians, and is especially important to tens of thousands of African American and Latino citizens.  


  • Jen Bersdale | Executive Director, Missouri Health Care for All 
  • Angela Clabon | MBA, Chief Executive Officer, CareSTL Health  
  • David Dwight | Executive Director and Lead Strategy Catalyst, Forward Through Ferguson   
  • Mikel Whittier | MHA, Strategist for Justice and Health Equity, Saint Louis Integrated Health Network

Part 2: Supporting a Healthier Missouri:  Medicaid Expansion and Rural Communities 
Co-sponsored by the Center for Health Economics and Policy, and the Clark-Fox Policy Institute 
Wednesday, July 22, 12:30-1:30 pm, CT

Rural Missourians face unique healthcare challenges such as a larger aging population, lower incomes, higher incidence of chronic illnesses, less access to employer-sponsored insurance, and barriers to healthcare access due to geographic distance and hospital closures. Even healthy, working citizens find themselves caught in the coverage gap and unable to afford private insurance. Throughout the entire state, Medicaid expansion is a matter of access, affordability, quality of life and health equity.  


  • Timothy McBride | PhD, Bernard Becker Professor, Brown School; Co-director, Center for Health Economics and Policy, Institute for Public Health at Washington University  
  • Paul Taylor | JD, CEO of Ozark Community Hospital Health Systems 
  • Will Ross | MD, MPH,  Associate Dean for Diversity, Principal Officer for Community Partnerships, and Professor of Medicine, Washington University School of Medicine  
  • Ryan Barker | MSW, MPPA, Vice President of Strategic Initiatives, Missouri Foundation for Health

Part 3: Supporting a Healthier Missouri:  Medicaid Expansion and Family Well-Being 
Co-sponsored by the Clark-Fox Policy Institute 
Wednesday, July 29, 12:30-1:30 pm, CT 

Research supports that expanding Medicaid coverage for adults increases the likelihood that eligible children will be enrolled, have access to preventative healthcare such as well visits, and experience continuity of care. This panel will explore how Medicaid Expansion could mean coverage for some 50,000 parents in Missouri and the implications for family well-being, workforce development, and breaking the cycle of poverty. 


  • Melissa Chambers | Vice President, Head Start, Youth in Need 
  • Lora Gulley, MSW | Director of Strategic Initiatives, Generate Health STL 
  • Brian Schmidt, MPP | Executive Director, Kids Win Missouri