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Greater St. Louis, Inc. Leads New Statewide
Coalition in Support of Medicaid Expansion at
Missouri Supreme Court

June 30, 2021
Greater STL Inc Leads Statewide Coalition to Expand Medicaid
Missouri, Kansas City, and Springfield Chambers of Commerce & Economic Development Groups Unite to Support Missouri Voters’ Wishes, Economic Growth & Job Creation

Placing the support of Missouri’s business community firmly behind the economic growth and job creation that will result from expanding the state’s Medicaid program, Greater St. Louis, Inc. today announced that it has officially joined the legal appeal to the Missouri Supreme Court on the matter as amicus curiae. The Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Greater Kansas City and Springfield Area Chambers of Commerce, and the Civic Council of Greater Kansas City announced that they are joining Greater St. Louis, Inc.’s legal effort.

“Expanding Medicaid drives economic growth and job creation, creates a more equitable community, and improves the health of Missouri’s workforce,” said Greater St. Louis, Inc. CEO Jason Hall. “This issue is critical to future economic growth in Missouri, and we are stepping up to do whatever we can, including joining the effort in front of the state Supreme Court, to ensure that the will of Missouri voters is enacted through the expansion of the Medicaid program.”

Citing economic modeling data from Regional Economic Models, Inc. (REMI), the amicus curiae brief filed today with the Missouri Supreme Court on behalf of Greater St. Louis, Inc. and other economic development organizations notes that from the year 2022 to 2026, the increase in federal funding for Missouri that would accompany Medicaid expansion “would result in an increase in 16,630 jobs” and that nearly 88% of these new jobs would pay at least $15 an hour. The REMI model also anticipates an “increase in the size of the state economy of $2.5 billion in economic output and $1.6 billion in gross domestic product, and rise in state personal income of $1.1 billion.”

Judge Booker Shaw of Thompson Coburn and attorney Ben Clark of Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner, two of the most respected attorneys and law firms in Missouri, led the legal team that drafted the amicus curiae brief. The brief asked the Missouri Supreme Court to overturn the ruling of the Cole County Circuit Court and find that the state of Missouri must expand Medicaid coverage — as the majority of Missouri voters approved last year — and fund it, which the Missouri General Assembly failed to do. The Court will hear arguments on the case beginning July 13.

“Based on the plain language of the appropriations bills – House Bills 10 and 11 – there is an extant appropriation for the voter-approved MO HealthNet [Medicaid] eligibility amendment to the Missouri Constitution (“Amendment 2”). Appellants are therefore entitled to immediate enrollment,” the amicus curiae brief states. “The plain language of Amendment 2 does not itself appropriate funds; rather, it merely redefines the eligibility requirements for the MO HealthNet program.”

“Thus, the proper focus of the instant litigation is on determining whether there was appropriation authority for funding the MO HealthNet program regardless of the scope of newly eligible persons, which there was, as established by the plain language of House Bills 10 and 11,” the brief continues. “Legislative intent comes from the plain language of the text and, because the language of House Bills 10 and 11 are not ambiguous and unquestionably fund the entirety of the MO HealthNet program, program enrollment should be adjusted to comply with the amended eligibility requirements of Amendment 2.”

“We want to thank Judge Booker Shaw and Ben Clark and Thompson Coburn and Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner for their civic commitment and the time and energy they are putting into this effort,” added Hall.

A copy of the amicus curiae brief to the Missouri Supreme Court is available here.