Chamber endorses Medicaid expansion

January 10, 2014 

The Lee’s Summit Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors voted to join the Missouri Medicaid Coalition, supporting the principles of expanding Medicaid in Missouri to cover all adults up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level.

“This issue is important to Missouri’s working families, businesses, health care institutions and to our economy,” Bob Glaser, the board’s chair, said in a statement. “Expanding Medicaid will save and create thousands of jobs, improve the economic circumstances of thousands of families, improve the delivery and quality of health care and insure a healthier and productive populous. It’s the right thing to do.”

By reforming Medicaid, Missouri will be able to leverage federal funds to assist in financing MoHealthNet covering an average of 95 percent of the cost of the program’s expansion for years 2015-2020. At the current time, healthcare providers and businesses are absorbing the burden of an increasingly uncompensated care load of nearly $1.2 billion in 2012 and estimated to increase in 2013.

Current facts bolstering the need for Medicaid reform and expansion

Missouri ranks 42nd in health status in the nation compared to 24th twenty years ago.

Three of four uninsured Missourians are in a working family.

52 percent fewer work days missed by persons with health care coverage.

Without Medicaid expansion, the estimated “hidden health care tax” to individuals and businesses is projected to shift an additional $1.1 billion financial burden annually to those individuals and businesses that purchase private health insurance for years 2013-2021.

A report released by the rating agency Fitch, suggests that providers in states who do not expand Medicaid will experience rating pressures, increasing costs to finance future healthcare infrastructure projects.

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