Two single mothers are among a group of low-income adults who on Thursday were sued by Missouri Gov. Mike Parson’s administration for abandoning Medicaid expansion plans.
Both mothers and a third woman have asked a Cole County judge to force the state to give them coverage in the government’s health care program, as called for in a constitutional amendment approved by voters l last year.
Two of the women claiming the state are poor enough that their children are covered by Medicaid, but they still do too much – at a maximum of $ 12 an hour working full-time – to get government health insurance if same according to current Missouri rules.
The plaintiffs argued in the case that they needed the health insurance program to get treatment for diseases like asthma and diabetes.
At issue is the Republican governor’s announcement last week that he has left plans to expand the program after the GOP-led Legislature refused to provide funding to cover newly eligible adults.
Prior to the adoption of the constitutional amendment, the plaintiffs “did not have access to health care which, in some cases, is a matter of life or death,” according to the lawsuit.
“But with the passage of Medicaid Expansion, the plaintiffs and more than 275,000 other Missourians have earned the pledge of health benefits in the MO HealthNet,” the plaintiffs ’attorneys wrote in the lawsuit.
They claimed that the administration had “broken that promise”.
The plaintiffs also demanded that the lawsuit address the remaining 275,000 adults estimated to be newly eligible for the program.
Parson spokesmen and Republican Attorney General Eric Schmitt declined to comment on the case pending Thursday.
The Missouri Medicaid program currently does not cover most adults without children, and its income eligibility threshold for parents is one of the lowest in the nation at about one-fifth of the poverty level.
Complainant Melinda Hille, who has diabetes and thyroid disease and is unable to work, must choose between medical treatment and food, depending on the cause.
Stephanie Doyle, who works full-time and has three children, cannot afford treatment for her eczema and has been hospitalized for severe burns.
The last claimant is Autumn Stultz, another single mother who works a part-time, minimum wage job. He cannot afford to go to the doctor and has asthma without treatment, depending on the cause.