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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Daniel Waxler
Missouri Foundation for Health
(314) 345-5580
dwaxler@mffh.org

New Impact Report Shows Broad Economic Benefits to Medicaid Expansion in Missouri

ST. LOUIS, MO (June 9, 2020) A new report released by Missouri Foundation for Health shows the projected impact of Medicaid expansion on Missouri’s economy from 2022-2026. The report details broad, statewide economic benefits to expanding Missouri’s Medicaid program (MO HealthNet). Highlights include an average increase of more than 16,000 new jobs each year and extensive gains in jobs outside of the Kansas City and St. Louis metropolitan areas.

According to the research, Medicaid expansion would also lead to large-scale economic growth. On a yearly average, Missouri would see a $2.5 billion increase in economic output (averaging approximately $16,500 per Missouri business), a $1.6 billion increase in gross domestic product, and a $1.1 billion increase in personal income. The personal income increase averages to more than $500 per Missouri household every year.

Job growth is projected to expand far beyond health care, with 79% of new jobs created outside of the health care industry. Expansion would also benefit all regions of Missouri. 63.7% of the jobs would be outside of the St. Louis and Kansas City regions. Nearly nine-out-of-10 of the new jobs would pay more than $15 an hour to full-time workers, considered to be the benchmark for “quality jobs.”

The case for Medicaid expansion has only been further solidified by the economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic. More than 500,000 Missourians have filed for unemployment since March 2020, as businesses close and workers lose their jobs or have their hours cut. The loss of a job for many people also means the loss of health insurance. Medicaid expansion ensures that more low-income individuals and parents can get the health coverage they need to get them through these unprecedented times.

As is the case with all states, the federal government would pay 90% of the ongoing cost of Medicaid expansion in Missouri. The state budget savings generated by expansion could then be reallocated to other priorities, such as education.

“This report makes a very strong economic argument for Medicaid expansion,” said Ryan Barker, Vice President of Strategic Initiatives at the Foundation. “To say nothing of the moral imperative to get more people covered under health insurance, especially during a pandemic.”

“Whether you live in a state that has expanded Medicaid or not, you’re paying for it through your taxes, you’re just not getting the benefits if your state isn’t participating,” said MFH Vice President of Health Policy Sheldon Weisgrau. “Instead of bringing our tax dollars back home, currently we’re sending our money to California, New York, and other states that have already chosen to expand their Medicaid programs.”

A vote to expand Medicaid in Missouri was recently pushed up to the primary election being held on August 4, 2020.

The projections in the report were created by the nonpartisan independent organization Regional Economic Models, Inc. (REMI) on behalf of the Foundation. This work represents part of MFH’s commitment to grounding its efforts in evidence-based research and data.

Read the full report here.
View an infographic of highlights from the report here.

To keep up with the latest information about the benefits of Medicaid expansion in Missouri, be on the lookout for the launch of MakesSenseMO.org in mid-June.