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AARP Missouri endorses Amendment 2 Medicaid expansion ballot initiative

The state’s largest advocacy organization for those age 50 and older on Thursday announced its support of this summer’s Yes on 2 vote for Missouri Medicaid expansion.

AARP Missouri joins a growing, broad-based coalition of more than 250 organizations to endorse Amendment 2, which appears on the Aug. 4 statewide primary ballot. The nonpartisan, grassroots effort includes doctors, nurses, healthcare advocates, civic and business leaders and everyday Missourians and their families who need care.

“The mission and goal of AARP is to enhance the quality of life for our members as they age. Under Amendment 2, Missouri Medicaid expansion will provide an estimated 18,000 seniors who’ve not yet reached retirement age with access to affordable healthcare,” said Sidney McCarther of Kansas City, AARP Missouri’s volunteer state president.

“Medicaid expansion will also benefit essential, frontline workers whose jobs don’t provide health insurance, a group that includes caregivers for retirees,” he added. “It will bring back billions of our tax dollars from Washington and help keep open the rural hospitals that many older Missourians rely on.”

The AARP Missouri endorsement comes six days after Amendment 2 received the support of the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Commerce Industry, which called the ballot initiative a “pro-jobs measure that will help fuel economic growth throughout the state.”

Economic analysts project that Medicaid expansion in the state will create more than 16,000 jobs annually in the program’s first five years, with nearly 80 percent of the job growth outside of the healthcare industry -- and most of the new jobs generated outside Missouri’s big cities.

On a yearly average, Missouri would see a $2.5 billion increase in economic output and a $1.6 billion boost in gross domestic product. Average personal income would grow by $1.1 billion annually - an extra $500 on average for each Missouri household.

Researchers at Washington University in St. Louis determined that Medicaid expansion will save Missouri more than $1 billion annually by 2026 by bringing tax dollars back from Washington and reducing many of the healthcare costs the state of Missouri currently pays.

Missouri would join 36 other states to expand 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 all voted to expand Medicaid.

Members of the press are invited to participate in a telephone conference call with representatives from AARP Missouri and the Yes on 2 campaign at 9:30 a.m. on Thursday, June 18. Call-in details will be provided separately or can be provided upon request to press@healthcareformissouri.org.

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.

About AARP
AARP is the nation’s largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to empowering people 50 and older to choose how they live as they age. With a nationwide presence and nearly 38 million members, AARP strengthens communities and advocates for what matters most to families: health security, financial stability and personal fulfillment. AARP also produces the nation's largest circulation publications: AARP The Magazine and AARP Bulletin. To learn more, visit www.aarp.org or follow @AARP and @AARPadvocates on social media.

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PAID FOR BY MISSOURIANS FOR HEALTHCARE; JOE PIERLE, TREASURER