OUR VIEW: Vote YES on 2 – Healthcare for Missouri on Aug. 4

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Missouri’s primary election is Tuesday, Aug. 4. On the ballot is a measure that would bring Missouri taxpayer dollars back home, provide healthcare to Missourians who have none, create tens of thousands of jobs, keep rural hospitals open, grow economic output and increase personal income for all Missourians. That measure is Amendment 2 – Medicaid expansion.

Organized Labor is strongly in favor of Amendment 2, which was placed on the ballot through a citizens’ initiative petition.

Expanding Medicaid will help about 230,000 hardworking Missourians who make too much to qualify for Medicaid and too little to afford private insurance –– delivering healthcare to individuals who earn less than $18,000 a year while bringing more than $1 billion of taxes Missouri residents are already paying home from Washington, rather than leaving it to be distributed to states like California, Arkansas, Indiana and New York that have already expanded Medicaid coverage.

Passage of Amendment 2 will protect frontline healthcare jobs, help keep endangered rural hospitals open, ensure all Missourians have access to emergency care, and create on average more than 16,000 jobs annually in the program’s first five years, including jobs in the construction industry.

‘THE RIGHT THING TO DO’
Missouri Organized Labor leaders and frontline healthcare workers came together earlier this month at Sheet Metal Workers Local 36 hall in St. Louis to support the Yes on Amendment 2 Missouri Medicaid expansion vote on Aug. 4.

Pat White, president of the Greater St. Louis Labor Council, summed up Labor’s position:

“At a time when access to healthcare is more important than ever, Medicaid expansion remains the right thing to do on behalf of the thousands of hardworking Missourians who work at jobs that don’t provide health insurance. But it also makes sense for our state’s bottom line,” White said.

80% OF NEW JOB GROWTH OUTSIDE OF THE HEALTHCARE INDUSTRY
“Just last month, an independent economic study commissioned by the Missouri Foundation for Health found that Medicaid expansion in the state will create more than 16,000 jobs annually in the program’s first five years – with almost one-fourth of those new jobs here in the St. Louis region,” White said.

“Nearly 80 percent of that job growth would fall outside of the healthcare industry,” White said And nearly 90 percent of those new jobs would pay $15 an hour or more, including new positions in the construction industry.

$1.1 BILLION INCREASE IN PERSONAL INCOME
“On a yearly average, Missouri would see a $2.5 billion increase in economic output and a $1.6 billion boost in gross domestic product. Average personal income would grow by $1.1 billion annually. That’s an extra $500 on average for each Missouri household,” White said.

“That is growth in jobs and economic prosperity that the AFL-CIO supports with our fellow union brothers and sisters.

“The bottom line: expanding Medicaid is a pro-jobs measure, and the St. Louis Labor Council wholeheartedly supports this positive impact on Missouri’s bottom line.”

Vote YES on Amendment 2 for Missouri Medicaid expansion on Aug. 4.

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