JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — A Missouri judge on Tuesday ruled that Republican Gov. Mike Parson no longer can deny Medicaid health care to thousands more newly eligible adults.
Three women who were newly eligible for Medicaid sued after Parson refused to implement it July 1 because the GOP-led Legislature didn’t set aside any extra money for it in the state budget.
Last month, the Missouri Supreme Court found the voter-approved Medicaid expansion program constitutional and told the lower court to rule in favor of the plaintiffs.
Cole County Judge Jon Beetem in response said Parson's administration no longer can deny Medicaid coverage to newly eligible adults. He also ordered that newly eligible adults won't face any additional restrictions in order to get health care coverage through the program.
Missouri Rep. Rasheen Aldrige, who represents St. Louis, said he sent a letter to Parson, requesting a special session so legislators can determine how to fund the program.
"We have already put expansion off for too long, even before the drama of the last year," Aldridge wrote. "Medicaid expansion would have helped our state during the COVID-19 pandemic, especially benefitting people of color and Missourians who live in high poverty communities by providing greater access to much needed medical care.
"We have a responsibility now to do what should have been done earlier this year during the budget process. You hold the authority to ensure the General Assembly does not let this essential program go unfunded. I encourage you to use it."