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Sep 2019

BJC joins coalition to have voters weigh in on Missouri Medicaid expansion

BJC HealthCare has joined a coalition of doctors, nurses, patients, business executives, Washington University researchers and health care supporters in launching a statewide campaign to let voters decide whether Missouri should expand Medicaid. The Missouri Hospital Association is also a strong supporter, and participant in, the coalition’s efforts.

Called Healthcare for Missouri, the newly formed campaign seeks to expand Medicaid coverage for more than 200,000 Missourians who don’t have access to affordable health care, going every day without heart medicine, cancer treatments and other medical services. These Missourians have jobs that don’t provide insurance, and their earnings – less than $18,000 a year – disqualifies them from buying insurance on the exchange.

“Medicaid expansion is the right thing to do for the people of our state. It’s the fiscally responsible thing to do as well,” says Rick Stevens, president of Christian Hospital, a member of BJC HealthCare. “All Missourians need access to basic health services and life-saving care. That’s why we’re joining together to put Medicaid expansion on the ballot.”

Medicaid expansion will bring back more than $1 billion of Missourians’ federal tax dollars every year. This is expected to help keep rural hospitals open, create thousands of jobs, and ensure all Missourians have access to health care no matter where they live. In fact, a recent report by researchers at Washington University found that Medicaid expansion will save Missouri $932 million by 2024.

Before the language can be put before voters on the 2020 ballot, 172,000 signatures will need to be collected.

“BJC HealthCare has long supported expanding affordable, comprehensive access to health care in Missouri,” Stevens says. “This initiative will help those who are slipping through the cracks in our health care system who are forced to choose between paying for life-saving care or paying for food or a mortgage. Our communities deserve Medicaid expansion and better health outcomes.”

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