The Missouri Supreme Court has unanimously ruled in favor of the voter-approved Medicaid expansion plan.
Gov. Mike Parson’s administration must follow the constitutional amendment voters passed with a 53% majority last August that extends eligibility for Medicaid to about 275,000 low-income Missourians, judges said.
Those residents will likely now be allowed to join the state health care program despite the efforts of the Republican-led state legislature to block them by refusing to budget money for their enrollment. Parson in May nixed the expansion after getting a budget without additional funds for the expansion this year.
Expansion advocates soon sued Parson’s administration.
On Thursday, the Supreme Court ruled that the Department of Social Services and the state’s Medicaid program, MO HealthNet, “are bound by” the constitutional amendment governing eligibility, regardless of the amount of money lawmakers put toward the program.
“DSS has appropriation authority to provide services for all individuals eligible for MO HealthNet, including individuals eligible for coverage and services pursuant to” the amendment, judges ruled.
They sent the case back to Cole County Circuit Court for a judge to likely order the state to accept new enrollees.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.