The state’s leading business voice on Friday announced its endorsement of Amendment 2, joining the growing coalition rallying behind the August 4 vote on Missouri Medicaid expansion in the statewide primary election.
The Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry hailed the ballot initiative as a “pro-jobs measure that will help fuel economic growth throughout our state.”
The Chamber highlighted a new report by the Missouri Foundation for Health on the positive economic impact of Medicaid expansion.
The independent study concludes that Medicaid expansion will create more than 16,000 new jobs annually over its first five years while expanding the state’s economic output by $2.5 billion a year and increasing personal income by $1.1 billion annually.
Nearly 80 percent of those jobs would be from outside of the healthcare industry, with most of the new positions located outside of St. Louis and Kansas City, and 90 percent paying more than $15 an hour.
“While this data makes a clear case for passing Amendment 2, the benefits of Medicaid expansion are even more significant during this time of economic hardship,” said Daniel P. Mehan, the organization’s president and CEO. “Let’s not miss this chance to bolster our economy during this recovery while expanding access to healthcare for our fellow Missourians.”
The Regional Economic Models Inc. (REMI) study adds to an extensive body of research showing that Missouri Medicaid expansion will improve not only the state’s health but its bottom line.
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 free up Missouri’s general revenue to invest in areas such as public safety and education.
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.