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Missouri's Medicaid Expansion hearing scheduled for Monday

Hearing will be in Cole County, Missouri
Medicaid-Expansion-Missouri
Posted at 7:48 AM, Jun 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-20 23:31:39-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A hearing regarding a lawsuit over Missouri's Medicaid Expansion is set for Monday in Cole County, Missouri.

The nation's new Juneteenth holiday pushed the hearing back as the courts were closed on Friday.

Last August, 53% of voters in Missouri voted in favor of Medicaid expansion. It allows some Missourians ages 19 to 65 years-old to be eligible for Medicaid.

Missourians with an income of 133% of the federal poverty or less.

For a single adult, that means just under $18,000. For a family of four, it's about $37,500. But, under the Affordable Care Act, the federal government did agree to pay 90% of the costs when it comes to the expanded coverage. The State of Missouri would cover the other 10%.

Last month, the general assembly declined to provide funding and the legislative session ended.

"So a lawsuit has been filed saying you need to follow through on what the Missouri voters ordered you to do," Allen Rostron, a law professor at UMKC, said. "They set the direction for this and you have to follow their instruction. The state, the attorney generals argument, is basically saying, 'no we don’t have to because it’s up to us to make the decision about the appropriation of money to pay for it.'"

This all started when three Missourians filed a lawsuit against the state to push the expansion forward. Until it's settled in court, thousands of people will be left without healthcare.

The goal of this lawsuit and what people want is to expand the program and make sure it allows newly eligible people to enroll, starting July 1st.