Missouri: Will MO Supreme Court be the next to tell voters/state constitution to eat a bag of Richards?


August 2020:

We did it!

Missouri just voted #YesOn2 to expand Medicaid, and now, because of YOUR vote, over 230,000 hardworking people will have access to life-saving healthcare! pic.twitter.com/azHN0GJjEW

— YesOn2: Healthcare for Missouri (@YesOn2MO) August 5, 2020

March 2021:

Republican lawmakers blocked Medicaid expansion funding from reaching the Missouri House floor on Wednesday, posing a setback for the voter-approved plan to increase eligibility for the state health care program.

The House Budget Committee voted along party lines not to pass a bill allowing Missouri to spend $130 million of state funds and $1.6 billion in federal money to pay for the program’s expansion. Under the Affordable Care Act, the federal government picks up 90% of the tab on expanding Medicaid.

The expanded eligibility would allow estimated 230,000 additional low-income Missourians to be covered. It is set to go into effect in July after voters approved a ballot question last August with a 53% majority.

Let me repeat that: The voters clearly and unequivocally stated that they wanted Medicaid fully expanded to 133% FPL (actually 138% in practice), with no strings attached for the enrollees, to start July 1st, 2021, and for the state to pay for its 10% share of the cost, with no screwing around.

...Republicans, citing the cost, have long resisted expanding Medicaid in Missouri, one of about a dozen states that haven’t extended eligibility for the health plan.

...Expansion opponents said the state can’t afford to take on the cost. Deaton said the budget bills present “binary choices” between Medicaid expansion and social services for blind and disabled Missourians.

This is a crock of garbage. Aside from the mountain of evidence that ACA Medicaid expansion helps states by bringing hundreds of millions, or even billions of dollars into the state economy, far more than it hurts them, Missouri residents are ALREADY paying for Medicaid expansion and have been for the past 7 years via the ACA taxes which their higher-income residents are paying to fund the law.

June 23, 2021:

Missouri judge says @GovParsonMO may refuse to expand Medicaid despite constitutional amendment supporting it

— Dan Goldberg (@DanCGoldberg) June 23, 2021

The judge essentially said that the ballot measure was flawed because it did not provide its own funding source so it could not compel lawmakers to pay for it.

— Dan Goldberg (@DanCGoldberg) June 23, 2021

June 28, 2021:

After a Cole County judge ruled in favor of the state’s argument against expanding Medicaid coverage last week, the issue is now on its way to Missouri’s highest court.

The Missouri Supreme Court will hear arguments against the state on July 13, according to attorney Chuck Hatfield, who represents the plaintiffs.

...“There’s money that has been appropriated for Medicaid services. Once that’s done, those folks are eligible under the constitution,” Hatfield told reporters following last week’s hearing. “There’s no expansion population: We had an election about that, we voted to amend the constitution. … There is no such thing as the expansion population or the preexisting population, there is just Medicaid coverage, and our plaintiffs are in that group.”

Assuming the state Supreme Court reverses the first judge and requires ACA expansion to go through after all, it presumably wouldn't actually start until August at the earliest, though it's conceivable that enrollees would also have to have their enrollment back-dated to July 1st as well. I believe that's what ended up happening in Maine a year or two ago.