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Five-figure job growth, billions in new spending expected from Missouri Medicaid expansion

ST. LOUIS __ Missouri can anticipate a wave of job growth and annual economic output from Medicaid expansion of more than double the expected $1 billion in yearly savings to the state budget.

That’s the conclusion of a new report released Tuesday by the Missouri Foundation for Health. The independent study concludes that Medicaid expansion will create more than 16,000 new jobs annually over its first five years, with nearly 80 percent of those from outside of the healthcare industry.

And 90 percent of the new jobs would pay more than $15 an hour, with most of the new positions located outside of St Louis and Kansas City.

“Both the net new healthcare spending and the reduction of state government spending … would generate positive economic impacts for Missouri,” the report from Regional Economic Models Inc. (REMI) concludes.  And “the reduction of state government spending would effectively expand Missouri’s operating budget to reallocate funding for other priorities.”

The state’s annual personal income would increase by an average of $1.1 billion from 2022 (the first full year of expansion, if approved by voters) through 2026.  

Put another way, that’s an extra $500 a year for each Missouri household.

“This new study only further reinforces the growing conclusion that Medicaid expansion is not only good for our state’s health but also its bottom line,” said A.J. Bockelman, Yes on 2: Healthcare for Missouri campaign manager.

“Voting yes on Amendment 2 on Aug. 4 will protect frontline healthcare jobs, help keep rural hospitals open and save the state money at a time when an economic boost is sorely needed.”

The study breaks down Medicaid expansion’s economic impact by six regions: the St. Louis and Kansas City metro areas as well as the state’s northwest, northeast, southeast and regions.

Reporters interested in interviewing local business owners about the economic impact of Medicaid expansion in your communities are invited to contact press@healthcareformissouri.org.
 
A 2019 study by the Center for Health Economics and Policy at Washington University in St. Louis shows that Medicaid expansion would save the state as much as $1.3 billion by 2026, with the additional federal dollars offsetting current state health spending.

As the REMI report notes, those cost savings would additionally spur job creation and increase Missouri’s tax revenue.

The Missouri state auditor has also issued a report acknowledging that Medicaid expansion could save the state up to $1 billion dollars a year, given the 900 percent return on investment that Medicaid expansion would deliver to the state.

Savings would come from the return of more than $1 billion of Missouri tax dollars every year from Washington. While the state would contribute 10 percent of the expansion costs, it is already spending existing resources for health care services at a far lower federal reimbursement rate.

With Amendment 2, the state will benefit from a much better federal matching rate for those already provided services, resulting in significant savings.

Among the existing Medicaid recipients who would qualify for the higher federal reimbursements: expectant mothers, people with disabilities, and women diagnosed through breast and cervical cancer screening programs.

Numerous other states have also saved money through Medicaid expansion, including Arkansas, where officials report using Medicaid expansion savings of more than $400 million during the last three years alone to cut state income taxes and reduce payments previously allocated to the uninsured. Hundreds of research studies on Medicaid expansion draw similarly favorable conclusions.