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Hospitals in Show-Me State Play the Shame Card

John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, September 18, 2013

It would be hard to live in any state with these sorts of health statistics and not be embarrassed. For example, MHA reports that:

  • Eleven counties in southeast Missouri and the City of St. Louis have average life expectancies less than 74 years. By comparison, Missourians living in these areas can expect to live two years less than the residents of Vietnam and Venezuela, and one year less than Hondurans and Lebanese. On average, they will enjoy the same life span as the population of Iran.
  • At 71.3 years, Pemiscot County would have the 85th lowest life expectancy in the world if it were a country—just below El Salvador with an average life expectancy of 71.4 years.
  • In 2011, 75% of Missouri's uninsured adults were in the workforce. However, many low-income blue collar and service industry workers lack access to employer-sponsored insurance, while Medicaid coverage is limited.
  • In 2013 a single working parent of two can earn no more than $9.59 per day to qualify for Medicaid in Missouri. By contrast, the average daily income in Angola is $13.35. Because of these strict eligibility standards, a large number of Missouri's uninsured are low-income working adults in blue collar and service collar industries.
  • On average, an uninsured Missourian was treated in a hospital emergency department every minute of every day in 2012. Throughout the last eight years, ED visits by the uninsured have increased 83% in Missouri, from more than 300,000 in 2004 to nearly 560,000 in 2012.
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2 comments on "Hospitals in Show-Me State Play the Shame Card"


R Daniel King (9/19/2013 at 12:56 PM)
Missouri Hospital Association is acting like the unions did in supporting ObamaCare that no one ever read. Today, the "shame" is on the unions because their membership is going pay and pay. Expanded Medicaid, like ObamaCare, is a dead program spending, taxing, regulating and cutting. Once the MHA membership witness the expanded control Medicaid has over hospitals and physicians they will change their tune like the unions have. We do know from decades of Hawaiian history that employer health insurance mandates can achieve three outcomes. First, a state can achieve 98% coverage. Second, the effort will destroy small businesses who survive by cutting full-time employees to part-time resulting in Hawaii's present 90% coverage. Third, that even with federal funds (QUEST program) to "share" in covering the cost of the chronically ill and hard to insure 2% of the population, the effort is unsustainable. ObamaCare along with expanded Medicaid are two dead programs subsidizing, taxing, regulating and destroying economies. The unions are just the first canary signaling the death of ObamaCare. The question is how many states are going to economically die with it?

Dr J (9/18/2013 at 4:25 PM)
The elected officials in the states that passed on billions of federal dollars will eventually have to answer for their decision... meanwhile the taxpayers in those states that rejected federal funds might take comfort in knowing that their federal tax dollars are being used to fund hospitals and healthcare for lower income people in all the other states who agreed to accept federal funds and expand Medicaid.