I have a hard time comprehending how much $2 million is let alone $2 billion. When you start talking money that begins with a “B” it’s just out of my comprehension. $2 billion is what’s at risk this year if Missouri does not expand Medicaid.
Here are a couple examples to help you better understand what $2 billion means to our state:
$2 billion equals:
- the annual food cost for 263,713 Missouri households, or
- Missouri’s annual sales and use tax collections, or
- the value of all corn production in Missouri
So there’s no question that $2 billion is a lot of money so now let’s look at what $2 billion can buy in terms of health care.
$2 billion equals the cost of:
- 26,666,667 mammograms, or
- diabetes care for 461,148 individuals, or
- 21.5 million physician office visits for primary care
What’s the value of even one mammogram if that mammogram provides for the early identification and successful treatment of cancer of one of your friends or family members. What’s the value of one physician office visit if that visit results in the diagnosis and treatment of a life threatening illness of a friend or family member. I don’t know the answer but I’d value any life at more than $2 billion.
If lawmakers don’t take action now, we’ll lose billions more next year. What we stand to lose as a state is more than money – we risk losing lives and quality of life.
Missouri’s working poor need health insurance coverage. Reforming Medicaid could provide this coverage and allow for preventive care and management of chronic illness.