The Missouri Supreme Court unanimously ruled in favor of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit to force the state to implement Medicaid expansion. The following is a statement from Lisa Lacasse, president of the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN).
Twenty-Two Health Groups Submit Amicus Brief in Medicaid Expansion Lawsuit
The Case will Impact the Health of Hundreds of Thousands of Families and Patients with Chronic Illnesses
Jefferson City, MO – Health and patient advocacy groups submitted an amicus curiae (or friend-of-the-court) brief today, supported by Missouri-based health economists and law professors, in the Missouri Supreme Court, noting the vital role that the implementation of expanded eligibility for Medicaid would have in the lives of hundreds of thousands of Missourians.
A group of 22 organizations submitted a brief to share with the Court how Medicaid expansion provides lifesaving health insurance coverage and why the Court must uphold this voter-approved amendment to Missouri’s constitution. A number of mostly Missouri-based health researchers and providers also joined onto the brief.
The brief shows how extending eligibility to Medicaid increases access to and use of vital health care services significantly reduces health disparities, improves survivorship for cancer and other chronic diseases, and positively affects the state economy.
A statement from the groups follows:
“Having access to health insurance is a matter of life or death for countless patients with chronic illnesses. Well-documented research has shown Medicaid expansion leads to better survival rates for chronic diseases, increased cancer screening rates and improved access to treatment. Uninsured patients are less likely than those with insurance to be screened for cancer and more likely to be diagnosed with later-stage disease, which is harder to survive and costlier to treat.
“Expanding Medicaid also makes financial sense. Under the recently passed American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), Missouri will receive more than $1billion in federal dollars in addition to the 90% matching rate for the expansion population if the state follows through on such lifesaving action supported by a majority of voters.
“Because of the overwhelming risks to patients with chronic illnesses and the proven consequences to Missouri families of failing to move forward with expanding this lifesaving program, the groups urge the court to honor the will of the voters and move forward with expanding eligibility for the state Medicaid program.”
To read the full brief, click here.
Groups on this statement include the National Health Law Program, American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, American Diabetes Association, Cancer Support Community, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Epilepsy Foundation, Gateway Hemophilia Association, Gilda’s Club Kansas City, Hemophilia Federation of America, March of Dimes, Midwest Hemophilia Association, NAMI Missouri, National Alliance on Mental Illness, National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship, National Hemophilia Foundation, National Multiple Sclerosis Society, National Organization for Rare Disorders, National Patient Advocate Foundation, Prostate Network, The AIDS Institute and the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.