Hospitals in Show-Me State Play the Shame Card
"There are a lot of them in public who would say 'no' but there are also a lot who would acknowledge what the economic benefit of it is and the impact on their constituents. They want to say 'yes' but there has to be a program that is very Missouri-specific," he says. "That is what you are seeing in other states and last week and this week we have seen governors in other states talk about this issue and create plans that were very tailored to the politics and the needs of their states."
"We are hoping that reports like this help shape the public perception of the problem because frankly, as a community, we get really wrapped up in things like discussing the federal poverty level and most people don't have any connection to that term in their lives," Dillon says.
"That is why we were making an effort this time to talk about what those numbers means and make comparatives to what they might mean. Life expectancy was a good benchmark, so it was going to be easier to show comparatives on [that metric]. Talking about the negative health implications and what they mean is vital."
"It is one thing to talk about what happens in Jefferson City," he said. "It's another thing to put it into the context of how people live their lives."
John Commins is a senior editor with HealthLeaders Media.
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