There were a few shockers in last night's elections, and the best one is that Missouri voters became the 38th state to expand Medicaid, approving a constitutional amendment by 52-48%. Via Politico:
The ballot initiative’s organizers focused on similar messages from other successful Medicaid expansion campaigns. They highlighted the federal support it would bring to cash-strapped rural hospitals, after 10 have closed since 2014 and others face financial peril. The federal government provides 90 percent of funding for Medicaid expansion, more generous than the 65 percent rate Missouri receives for its existing program.
“Quite frankly, Missourians are sick and tired of not getting their fair share. They pay their taxes, they've seen now 37 other states use that money to expand access to health care. Meanwhile, our economy's clearly ailing here,” Jack Cardetti, the campaign’s spokesperson, said last week.
The ballot measure adds the Medicaid expansion into the state’s constitution, effectively barring Republican lawmakers from adding conservative elements to the program — like work requirements and premiums — as other states sought to do following similar initiatives.
Missourians also turned out a long-time Democratic incumbent congressman in favor of a primary challenger and Justice Dems candidate. From the Intercept:
In an upset that will rock the House Democratic caucus, Ferguson activist Cori Bush on Tuesday unseated Rep. Lacy Clay, whose family has represented the St. Louis-area congressional district for more than 50 years.
Clay dominated Bush among mail-in and absentee ballots, leading some outlets to prematurely call the race, but Bush surged back with a commanding election day lead, narrowly topping Clay by three points when all were counted.
Bush was among the original Justice Democrat recruits in 2018, but lost her first challenge by 20 points. A registered nurse and pastor, she made a second run this cycle, again with the backing of Justice Democrats, the progressive group best known for recruiting Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. “It is historic that this year, of all the years, we are sending a Black, working-class, single mother, who’s been fighting for Black lives since Ferguson, all the way to the halls of Congress,” Bush said in a victory speech.
Kris Kobach lost the Republican primary in Kansas -- too bad, he would have been so easy for the Democratic candidate to run against!
But this biggest surprise of the night is that Arizona Republicans rejected Joe Apaio as candidate for sheriff -- by a razor-thin margin. Jerry Sheridan took 36.70% to Joe Arpaio's 36.53%.
Arizona, what does it take for you to wake up?