A lawsuit was filed Thursday to force GOP Governor Mike Parson to extend Medicaid on July 1, as voters approved in a poll last year. The move comes a week after Parson said he would not expand the public health insurance program to about 275,000 low-income residents because lawmakers did not provide appropriate funding.
The lawsuit, filed on behalf of three Missourians with chronic illnesses who cannot afford coverage or treatment, argues that the state’s Medicaid program was funded by the General Assembly and that lawmakers did not no need to set aside specific funds for expansion registrants.
He also notes that the recent Congressional $ 1.9 trillion relief bill provides additional federal support to states expanding Medicaid, which would provide Missouri with more than $ 1 billion more to cover the share of expansion of the state for five years.
Filed by a consumer rights group and two staff members of former Democratic and Republican officials, the lawsuit seeks to compel the Department of Social Services to allow low-income residents to enroll in Medicaid from the 1st. July.
“Although I have never been in favor of expanding MO HealthNet, I have always said that I will stand by the ballot amendment if it passes,” the governor said. “However, without a source of revenue or funding authorization from the General Assembly, we are unable to proceed with the expansion at this time and must withdraw our amendments to the state plan to ensure that the program Missouri’s current MO HealthNet remains solvent. “
Expansion to the ballot box
Missouri became the sixth state to approve the Medicaid expansion at the polls last August, when voters backed it 53% to 47%. In Oklahoma, where voters narrowly approved the expansion last June, newly eligible residents can begin applying for coverage on June 1. It takes effect the following month.
The expansion of Medicaid in Missouri would cost the state $ 130 million a year, said Amy Blouin, CEO of the left-wing Missouri Budget Project. The federal government, which covers 90% of the cost, would provide the state with $ 1.7 billion per year.
“Missouri lawmakers have funded Medicaid from the state budget, and it’s clear that implementation can continue on July 1 as planned,” she said.
A review of research from the Kaiser Family Foundation found that expansion can lead to savings in the state budget by offsetting costs in other areas, reducing unpaid care costs for hospitals and clinics. clinics and increasing employment.
Besides Missouri and Oklahoma, 12 other states have yet to expand Medicaid. All have Republican governors or legislatures controlled by the GOP.
More than 2 million uninsured adults fall into the “coverage gap,” which means their incomes were too high to qualify in their state, but too low to make them eligible for premium subsidies under the National Health Insurance Act. affordable care, which is only open to people earning more than 100% of the poverty level in non-expanding states.