Legislative failure to expand Medicaid is making a mess in Missouri

Missouri's legislature has stonewalled Medicaid expansion for 3 years and the consequences are starting to come into focus.

Our neighbors, who are doctors, nurses, social workers, and janitors, have lost their jobs. Three hospitals have closed.

In the past two months, Barnes Jewish hospital has been forced to bail out two health care institutions: Mineral Area Regional Medical Center and, most recently the St. Louis Regional Psychiatric Stabilization Center (PSC) because the Missouri legislature has failed to expand Medicaid. Here's what Rich Liekweg, an executive vice president of BJC HealthCare, had to say about coming to PSC's rescue: 

“Eighteen months ago we realized that unless there was going to be Medicaid expansion in the state of Missouri, PSC as we know it was not going to be a viable entity."


“If PSC had closed, then there would be no avenue for those emergency rooms to transfer those patients out, and they’d have very long lengths of stay in the emergency room."

Hospitals are designed to provide care to people, not clean up the mess of legislative inaction. 

Legislative failure to expand Medicaid (a bipartisan issue) hurts Missourians, hospitals and ultimately our communities. Several studies have documented that Medicaid expansion will save the state money, create access to affordable healthcare for 300,000 uninsured Missourians, spur job creation and decrease hospitals' uncompensated care costs. 

The consequences of inaction are real. But Missouri legislators have the opportunity to reverse this by expanding Medicaid for our neighbors, our hospitals, and our communities.

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