JaAnna Guillory

JaAnna Guillory, a family nurse practitioner, provides care at Access Family Care Medical and Dental Clinic in Joplin. On Friday, February 7, the Missouri Nurses Association announced its support for a November ballot initiative that would expand Medicaid to an estimated 230,000 state residents who don't now qualify.

The Missouri Nurses Association, Missouri’s largest association of registered nurses, has endorsed the ballot initiative that would give Missouri voters the choice to approve Medicaid expansion in the state.

“As nurses, we are on the front lines of healthcare delivery in the state of Missouri,” said Terry Reese, a family nurse practitioner in Branson and board president of the association, which has 2,803 members.

“So our members can see firsthand how increased access to health insurance will improve the health, well-being and quality of life for hundreds of thousands of hardworking Missourians.”

In a release, the association said the expansion would help provide health coverage to more than 230,000 uninsured adults in the state, bring more than $1 billion of in tax dollars to Missouri from Washington each year, create thousands of jobs, boost the state’s economy and keep struggling rural hospitals open.

 Thirty-six other states have moved to expand Medicaid in recent years, including neighboring Arkansas, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky and Nebraska. Expansion efforts are also underway in Kansas and Oklahoma.

An expansive body of research shows that Medicaid expansion will not just save lives but could also save taxpayers money, the association noted.

Researchers at Washington University in St. Louis have shown that expansion could save Missouri more than $1 billion by 2026 by reducing many of the healthcare costs the state now pays.

And a new analysis by Health Management Associates of Medicaid expansion in Arkansas, Indiana and Ohio shows how those states have used Medicaid-derived savings to cut income taxes, increase government efficiency and improve worker productivity. That report concluded that Medicaid expansion in Missouri “can be designed to budget for savings and revenue opportunities that significantly exceed the state’s cost of implementation.”

The Missouri Nurses Association joins more than 120 organizations to pledge support of the Healthcare for Missouri campaign — a coalition that includes businesses, hospitals, insurers, medical organizations, civic and charitable groups and citizens – working on the ballot initiative.

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