With the upcoming August 4 vote on Missouri Medicaid expansion just days away, medical professionals in St. Louis on Friday added their voices to the growing coalition in support of Amendment 2.
Speaking at a news conference at Affinia Healthcare, Dr. Melissa Tepe, vice president, and chief medical officer noted the importance of Medicaid expansion not only for boosting access to healthcare overall but especially its impact on increased breast, and cervical cancer screenings— preventive services that save thousands of lives.
“According to a Georgetown University report, health insurance coverage increases access to preventative care that reduces infant and maternal mortality rates. The health coverage provided by Medicaid helps to improve outcomes and reduce the burden of cancer by offering access to prevention services; timely cancer screening and early detection services; as well as affordable treatment services and care,” she said.
“States that have expanded Medicaid saw a 50 percent greater reduction in infant mortality and reduced rates of maternal death compared to non-expansion states.”
“In Missouri, there are significant disparities in health outcomes for Black mothers and infants compared with white mothers and infants,” Tepe added. “The leading causes of maternal death in Missouri are hypertension and other chronic cardiac conditions, which adversely affects Black women and mothers much differently than their peers.”
A yes on 2 vote Tuesday will expand Medicaid to 230,000 hardworking Missourians by broadening eligibility to cover individuals who make less than $18,000 per year. It will bring billions of our taxpayer dollars back from Washington – money that’s set aside for Missouri but is currently being sent to other states. And it will protect thousands of healthcare jobs and help keep rural hospitals and urban healthcare clinics open.
Researchers at Washington University in St. Louis determined that Medicaid expansion will save Missouri more than $1 billion annually by 2026 and reduce many of the healthcare costs the state currently pays.
Missouri would join 37 other states that have expanded Medicaid, including neighboring Arkansas, where officials reported using savings from expansion to cut state income taxes and reduce payments previously allocated to the uninsured.
In 2018, voters in Utah, Idaho, and Nebraska chose to expand Medicaid, and on June 30, voters in Oklahoma passed a Medicaid expansion ballot measure of their own.
Yes on 2: Healthcare for Missouri is a grassroots, nonpartisan effort led by Missourians, including doctors, nurses, healthcare advocates, civic and business leaders, and Missourians who need healthcare. For more information, visit Yeson2.org.