A new study published by the University of Missouri School of Medicine believes Missouri's economy will expand by $9.6 billion from 2014 to 2020 if Medicaid expands within the state. Gov. Jay Nixon has stops scheduled in St. Louis, Kansas City, Mo., and Springfield, Mo., to tout the need for expanding medical coverage for those who can't afford it.
* The $9.6 billion figure comes out to an annual economic gain of more than $1.37 billion per year. The increase to the gross state product (GSP) is more than one half of one percent.
* The impetus for Medicaid expansion comes from the Affordable Care Act passed in 2011. States have the option to expand the program.
* The study expects more than 24,000 jobs will be created in 2014. That figure represents more than one-eighth of all the unemployed citizens without a job in 2011.
* Missouri's portion of the costs for seven years is slightly less than $333 million. The federal government will pay for more than 96 percent of the program. Increased income tax revenues are expected to be near $856 million over seven years for the state in addition to $1.4 billion in income taxes paid to the federal government. The figure doesn't take into account added sales tax revenues from more jobs and more economic activity.
* The Springfield News-Leader reveals Nixon has news conferences planned for Thursday at Truman Medical Center in Kansas City, Barnes Jewish Center in St. Louis and the Jordan Valley Community Health Center in Springfield. At those venues, the governor is expected to announce initiatives designed to urge lawmakers to expand Medicaid coverage in Missouri.
* The Associated Press notes state Republicans are generally against provisions of the Affordable Care Act as conservatives believe it will increase pressure on the state's treasury during lean times and budget cuts. Nixon is a Democrat and Republicans have a supermajority in the General Assembly for the next two years, meaning the legislative body can override any of Nixon's vetoes along party lines.
* An additional 218,165 Missourians would be eligible for Medicaid if the program expands in 2014. That number increases another 2,500 by 2020.
* Businesses aside from the health care industry stand to benefit. The study, sponsored in part by the Missouri Hospital Association, claims the food service industry will add more than 800 jobs. Real estate services will gain 741 jobs. Employment service agencies stand to add 381 jobs. A majority of the positions added will be in the nursing and residential care facility sectors of health care.
* A competing study was released a few days before the University of Missouri's piece. The Kaiser Family Foundation's "Cost and Coverage Implications " of Medicaid expansion claims Missouri's cost of expanding Medicaid totals more than $420 million over 10 years.
* Herb Kuhn, CEO of the Missouri Hospital Association, told the News-Leader the Kaiser study failed to take into account new tax revenues brought on by expanded employment. Kuhn also claimed privately insured individuals across Missouri could save around $1 billion in premiums due to reductions if Medicaid expands.
William Browning, a lifelong Missouri resident, writes about local and state issues for the Yahoo! Contributor Network. Born in St. Louis, Browning earned his bachelor's degree in English from the University of Missouri. He currently resides in Branson.
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