June 26, 2020

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Latest News, Missouri

ICYMI: Gov. Mike Parson Remains Opposed to Medicaid Expansion Even Though It Could Assist in State’s Economic Recovery

Even in the midst of a pandemic, GOP Missouri Gov. Mike Parson has been unwavering in his opposition to Medicaid expansion. Parson has ignored countless analyses showing Medicaid expansion benefits rural hospitals – extremely troubling considering Missouri is fifth in the nation for rural hospital closures.

Yesterday, the Kansas City Business Journal published yet another report from healthcare professionals outlining the benefits of Medicaid expansion. The article illustrates how Medicaid expansion could help Missouri recover from the economic impacts of the coronavirus pandemic, including the creation of more than 26,000 jobs statewide. Another great benefit of Medicaid expansion? 90 percent of the costs are paid for by the federal government – so Parson’s “we can’t afford it” excuse is null and void.

Even Parson’s friends disagree with him – the Missouri Chamber of Commerce, a “key Parson ally,” endorsed Medicaid expansion, saying “Let’s not miss this chance to bolster our economy during this recovery while expanding access to health care for our fellow Missourians.

Despite all the evidence that Medicaid expansion is good for Missourians’ health and finances, Parson is still playing political games. Recently, he moved the date of a Medicaid expansion ballot question to the state’s lower-turnout August primary with the hope the initiative will fail.

Read more about potential benefits of Medicaid expansion in Missouri below:

Kansas City Business Journal: Missouri Medicaid expansion can fuel state’s economic recovery from Covid-19 crisis

The August 4 statewide primary election provides Missouri voters a unique opportunity to improve the state’s health — as well as its bottom line — through Medicaid expansion.

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As it now stands, far too many Missourians who earn less than $18,000 a year find themselves slipping through the cracks of our health care system, unable to afford care for themselves or a loved one. The coverage gap includes thousands of uninsured veterans and their families, those nearing retirement, working moms who don’t have access to preventive care and other hardworking Missourians whose jobs don’t provide health insurance.

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A new research study from the Regional Economic Models Inc. (REMI) report on the economic impact of Missouri Medicaid expansion builds on the already substantial body of work affirming the fiscal benefits of a Yes on 2 vote this summer.

From 2022 through 2026, Medicaid expansion will create more than 26,000 jobs statewide, the REMI report found. More than 2,100 of those new jobs would be in the six-county Kansas City region.

The job growth would extend far beyond health care, with nearly 80 percent of the new jobs coming from outside the health care industry. Nearly two thirds of the new jobs would be created outside of the St. Louis and Kansas City region, with the state seeing a $2.5 billion increase in economic output, a $1.6 billion increase in gross domestic product, and a $1.1 billion increase in personal income, according to the REMI report.

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With 90 percent of the costs of expansion paid for by the federal government, the higher reimbursement rates received by the state for existing Medicaid recipients would produce state budget savings that could go toward education, transportation, public safety or tax cuts, the REMI report concluded. And new health care spending would increase statewide by a yearly average of $1.33 billion.

“The reduction of state government spending would effectively expand Missouri’s operating budget to reallocate funding for other priorities,” the REMI study concluded. “Both the net new health care spending and the reduction of state government spending would generate positive economic impacts for Missouri.”

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Medicaid expansion would make our families healthier, our communities safer and our economy stronger. The estimated 230,000 Missourians who would benefit include those on the frontlines of the coronavirus outbreak: essential low-wage workers in grocery stores, delivery drivers, and home health aides in nursing homes, hospitals and elsewhere.

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Expanding Medicaid in Missouri is both a vital forward step in our ongoing effort to eliminate disparities in health care access and a critical next step on the road to economic recovery.

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