"Sadly, depending on where you live, your community may be part of Missouri's downward spiral in health status," MHA President/CEO Herb B. Kuhn said in prepared remarks. "The gaps in life expectancy between communities with higher incomes and increased access to care, often separated by mere miles, are profound. That's bad for Missouri and the state's economy."
If it's any consolation, Missouri already ranks 42nd in health status according to America's Health Rankings – close enough to the bottom that it wouldn't be a long drop.
MHA spokesman David M. Dillon says the state's hospitals are hopeful that state legislators and the general public will be motivated to change the status quo once they understand that Missouri health statistics rival those of Third World countries.
"One of the important parts of this report versus a lot of the more academic stuff we have done in the past is that it shines a pretty bright light on comparatives and gives individuals an opportunity to understand it in a way they might not otherwise," he says.
"If you look at the state of the state, there is this preconception about what Medicaid covers and who it covers and you'd think we have two metros so it's an urban problem. Well, not so much. It is very much a rural problem."