Dem Gubernatorial Candidate Flip-Flops on Medicaid Expansion

Chris Koster / AP

Chris Koster / AP


Democrat Chris Koster, who is running for governor in Missouri, recently proclaimed his support for Medicaid expansion despite voting to cut Medicaid for residents while serving in the state senate.

“Access to basic healthcare should be guaranteed for all Missourians–let’s do the right thing and expand Missouri healthcare in 2016!” Koster wrote in a Facebook post Wednesday. His support for healthcare expansion is also proclaimed in a campaign advertisement.

Koster’s support for Medicaid expansion appears out-of-step with his past voting record as a Missouri state senator.

In 2005, Koster, then a Republican, voted to cut the state’s Medicaid spending, according to the Kansas City Star

Ultimately, the vote led to the passage of a measure that shrank the Medicaid program in the state. The cut eliminated healthcare coverage for an estimated 100,000 Missouri residents, including 24,000 elderly and disabled individuals.

Disabled people in wheelchairs chained themselves to the Missouri House chamber in protest following the bill’s passage.

Criticized for the vote when running for state attorney general in 2007 as a Democrat, Koster described the vote as a mistake.

Koster, now the attorney general, is the only Democrat in the 2016 race for Missouri governor. He is running against several Republicans, including former Navy SEAL Eric Greitens and businessman John Brunner.

Koster is an active supporter of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign and recently received her endorsement. He is also a donor to the Clinton Foundation, having contributed between $10,000 and $25,000 to the Clinton’s family charity.

Morgan Chalfant   Email Morgan | Full Bio | RSS
Morgan Chalfant is a staff writer at the Washington Free Beacon. Prior to joining the Free Beacon, Morgan worked as a staff writer at Red Alert Politics. She also served as the year-long Collegiate Network fellow on the editorial page at USA TODAY from 2013-14. Morgan graduated from Boston College in 2013 with a B.A. in English and Mathematics. Her Twitter handle is @mchalfant16.

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