To the Editor:
I would like to bring to the residents of Ste. Genevieve County the idea that it is time to expand Medicaid in Missouri. This is now even more imperative with the troubling issue of a pandemic stalking us.
Nineteen percent of Missouri adults living in rural areas are uninsured, compared to 12 percent living in non-rural counties. Another 19 percent of Missourians have health coverage through Medicaid.
The Affordable Care Act led to a $42 million reduction in Missouri hospitals’ uncompensated care costs.
Two-hundred and thirty-thousand Missourians could gain coverage if the state were to expand Medicaid. Also, if Missouri were to expand Medicaid, it is estimated that its uninsured rate would drop from 14.1 percent to 9.8 percent.
Fourteen rural hospitals in Missouri are at high financial risk of closing. This represents roughly 23 percent of the state’s rural hospitals.
In Missouri, where lawmakers refuse to expand Medicaid, some rural hospitals have already closed since 2010. These hospitals (listed with congressional districts) include:
— I-70 Community Hospital (Fifth District, closed 2019).
— Southeast Health Center of Ripley County (Eighth District, closed in 2018).
— Twin Rivers Regional Medical Center (Eighth District, closed in 2018).
— Southeast Health Center of Reynolds County (Eighth District, closed in 2016).
— Parkland Health Center of Reynolds County (Eighth District, closed in 2016).
— Parkland Health Center — Weber Road (Eighth District, closed in 2015).
— Sac-Osage Hospital (Fourth District, closed in 2014).
There has been a great effort this past year to collect signatures for a ballot initiative to expand Medicaid in Missouri. An amazing number of 350,000 signatures have been collected, which is more than enough to get the measure on the ballot.
It is very important for all of us to consider voting for this measure on the ballot. Be sure and to vote and may God keep us all safe.
Ste. Genevieve County
To the Editor: