Judge weighs decision after hearing on Missouri Medicaid expansion

Published: Aug. 7, 2021 at 12:29 PM CDT
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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (KY3) - A Cole County judge will decide the next steps on how to implement Medicaid expansion in Missouri, a measure approved by Missouri voters last August.

Judge Jon Beetem heard 20 minutes of arguments during a hearing Friday, but has not yet reached a final order on Medicaid expansion, ABC affiliate KMIZ reports.

The hearing comes just weeks after the Missouri Supreme Court vacated a lower court’s decision in the state’s Medicaid expansion case, agreeing that the voter-approved plan to offer Medicaid to more people should stand.

Voters approved a measure in August 2020 to allow more than 250,000 Missourians to become eligible for Medicaid. A Springfield woman and two others filed a lawsuit through the Cole County Circuit Court when expansion did not initially take effect as planned.

The unanimous decision sent the case back to Cole County Circuit Court. The state Supreme Court ruled that the 2020 ballot measure approving expansion of the government-operated health care plan did not violate the Missouri Constitution because it “does not appropriate money and does not remove the General Assembly’s discretion in appropriating money to MO HealthNet.”

Beetem did not offer a clear timetable Friday on when he might make his order.

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