Letter to the Editor

Medicaid expansion good for state

Monday, December 24, 2012

There seems to be great confusion as to whether or not Missouri can afford to expand Medicaid as Gov. Nixon has proposed. The numbers speak for themselves. For an investment of just over $330 million, Missouri could see an infusion of over $8.2 billion in federal funding. To make the math simpler, that means Missourians would be on the hook for less than 4 cents of every new dollar invested in our state.

What would such a small investment create? The estimates are over 24,000 new jobs; over 1,700 would be in this region. These new jobs would generate over $800 million in new state revenue, revenue that could be spent on other priorities like our schools, public safety and infrastructure. Studies also predict that due to a lower level of uncompensated care, those of us fortunate enough to have insurance could also save as much as $1,688 for a family of four. The combination of such savings across the state is nearly $1 billion. That's money small businesses could use to hire new workers or that we could spend in our local stores, generating more economic activity.

Medicaid expansion not only conforms to our Missouri values to care for our neighbors, it also fits our public policy agenda to create jobs and spur economic growth in Missouri. Let's only hope our leaders in the legislature see it that way.