AIDS Institute Joins Amicus Brief for Medicaid Expansion

AIDS Institute Joins Amicus Brief for Medicaid Expansion

The AIDS Institute joined twenty-one other patient advocacy groups in an amicus brief in a case before the Missouri Supreme Court brought against the state for failing to expand Medicaid despite voters’ having approved the expansion in a ballot measure in 2020. The suit seeks to force the state of Missouri to expand Medicaid coverage, offering life-saving healthcare to hundreds of thousands of Missouri residents.

For those not familiar with the term, an “amicus curiae” (literally, “friend of the court”) is someone who is not a party to a case but assists the court by offering information, expertise, or insight that has a bearing on the issues in the case in the form of an amicus brief. The decision whether to consider an amicus brief lies within the discretion of the court.

Nationwide, some two million people are ineligible for either Medicaid coverage or for Affordable Care Act tax credits. Of those two million people, 177,000 are living with HIV in states that did not expand Medicaid under the ACA. This coverage gap disproportionately affects people of color and people living in the South.

Expanded Medicaid coverage is an important, effective tool in the push for healthcare equity and for the goal of ending the HIV epidemic.

“For people living with HIV, Medicaid is a lifeline,” said Michael Ruppal, The AIDS Institute’s Executive Director. “Medicaid is currently the largest source of insurance coverage for people living with HIV and ensuring that all states have expanded Medicaid will help end the HIV epidemic. Missouri has the chance to improve healthcare for thousands of Missourians, and we hope this brief will help the court understand how Medicaid expansion will benefit thousands.”

Rachel Klein, The AIDS Institute’s Deputy Executive Director, added, “Without health insurance, millions of people cannot afford the medical care they need, including screening, prevention, and treatment for infectious diseases such as viral hepatitis and HIV. We can end these epidemics but ensuring access to basic health care is the foundation of that effort. While we wish this lawsuit were not necessary, we are pleased to support it, and we look forward to a time when people in all states enjoy equitable access to affordable health care.”

To read the amicus brief, log on to For more information on The AIDS Institute, go to:

—Reporting by Hank Trout

Hank Trout, Senior Editor, edited Drummer, Malebox, and Folsom magazines in the early 1980s. A long-term survivor of HIV/AIDS (diagnosed in 1989), he is a forty-year resident of San Francisco, where he lives with his husband Rick.