Missouri Hospitals Trim Staff, Report Shows

By Matt Lupoli | mlupoli@kolr10.com

Published 03/26 2014 09:38PM

Updated 03/26 2014 10:20PM

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- A new report claims that cuts from the federal government are having consequences across the state of Missouri.

The Missouri Hospital Association's report said hospitals are losing jobs -- as many as 1,000 in the past six months, with 2,100 more included in a hiring freeze -- because of a lack of Medicaid expansion. They argue the state is missing out on billions of dollars in federal money given to states that have expanded Medicaid. 

"Unfortunately this is not surprising news," Crystal Brigman of the Missouri Healthcare for All grassroots initiative said.

She says her group is working for Missourians all over the state who are hoping for a change.
"We've met people from all over southwest Missouri and across the state who are trying to take care of their children. They're keeping their jobs and doing the best they can and being able to have access to healthcare would make a really big difference," Brigman said.
The Missouri Chamber Commerce is calling the findings the beginning of a trend, which Gov. Jay Nixon weighed in on in a statement late Wednesday afternoon.

"This independent report lays out in stark detail how Missouri communities are already suffering the consequences of the legislature's failure to act on Medicaid," Nixon's statement read in part.

Not everyone agrees, several state senators said this week that they will not support expansion during this legislative session, including Sen. Brad Lager.
"I don't believe the solution to that is theater government spending. I don't believe the solution to that is more government involvement in our lives and insure don't believe that the solution to that is making more Missourians dependent on that for their healthcare," Lager said.

Supporters, including the governor, said there is still enough time left in the session for compromise.

To read the Missouri Hospital Association report, click here.

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