The Missouri Supreme Court agrees with the voters and rules that Medicaid expansion should proceed.
According to the Associated Press, the Missouri Supreme Court sided with voters and found that the Missouri Medicaid expansion should go on.
A month after a Cole County court rejected the constitutional amendment that Republican Governor Mike Parson refused to enact because the GOP-led legislature failed to provide financing, the state Supreme Court took nine days to find in favor of the case.
The action was filed on behalf of three women who had recently become Medicaid eligible. Last Thursday, their counsel, Chuck Hatfield, told the state Supreme Court that the state’s actions will effectively “overturn the election.”
See the list below for more Associated Press reporting.
The matter has been remanded to Cole County Circuit Court following the unanimous judgment. Because it “does not appropriate money and does not remove the General Assembly’s authority in appropriating money to MO HealthNet,” the state Supreme Court held that the 2020 ballot item enabling expansion of the government-run health-care plan did not violate the Missouri Constitution.
Solicitor General John Sauer, on the other hand, had urged the Supreme Court to uphold the amendment in order to “preserve the Legislature’s traditional authority” over the budget.
Hatfield and the Missouri Attorney General’s office did not respond to messages left with them.
The verdict has been welcomed by proponents of the expansion.
According to a statement from the group Healthcare for Missouri, “we look forward to seeing Medicaid expansion promptly implemented by the State so that all eligible Missourians receive the access to healthcare they need.” “This is not a political or partisan issue; it is a people issue.”
Most persons without children are now uninsured under Missouri’s Medicaid program, and the state’s income qualifying criteria for parents is one of the lowest in the country, at around one-fifth of the poverty level. Up to 275,000 low-income Missourians are expected to gain Medicaid coverage as a result of the expansion.
Last August, voters approved Medicaid expansion by approving a constitutional amendment with 53% of the vote.