Nicole On The Issues
Lowering Costs And Expanding Access To Healthcare For Missouri Families
Auditor Galloway knows that healthcare is a right — not a privilege. But for too many Missouri families, getting the care they need has just become too expensive. The average Missouri family is paying more now than they were just a few years ago in annual premiums and deductibles. Missouri is one of the worst states in the country for meeting the healthcare needs of its residents, ranking 41st in the nation according to US News and World Report. Governor Parson’s refusal to expand Medicaid has denied health insurance to hundreds of thousands of Missourians and led in part to the closure of at least seven rural hospitals in recent years. And during his time in office, Governor Parson kicked 100,000 Missouri children off of their healthcare.
As Governor, Auditor Galloway will reverse Governor Parson’s failures on healthcare by taking action to lower healthcare costs for working Missourians and expand access to affordable, quality care. A Galloway administration will:
- End the Parson administration’s healthcare purge of Missouri children and families
- Lower prescription drug prices
- Tackle the rising cost of healthcare
- Enshrine protections for Missourians with pre-existing conditions into state law
- Address the addiction and mental health crises
- Implement Medicaid expansion without raising taxes or cutting programs
Protect Coverage For Our Children And Families
In contrast to Governor Parson, Auditor Galloway will protect healthcare coverage for Missouri children and families. The Parson administration purged 100,000 Missouri children from the Children’s Health Insurance Program, many of them without cause. As Governor, Auditor Galloway will end health insurance purges of eligible recipients and protect Missouri children and families’ access to healthcare.
Protect Coverage For Missourians With Pre-existing Conditions:
Currently, Governor Mike Parson and his hand-picked Attorney General Eric Schmitt are in court suing to gut protections for the millions of Missourians with pre-existing conditions. If Governor Parson and Attorney General Schmitt have their way, Missourians with pre-existing conditions — from diabetes to asthma— would see their health insurance costs skyrocket and could lose their care. As Governor, Auditor Galloway will sign a law that enshrines protections for pre-existing conditions into state law — so that no matter what happens at the national level, no one will ever be able to take away coverage from Missourians with pre-existing conditions.
Lower Prescription Drug Prices
Too many Missourians can’t afford to get the critical medications they need. No one should have to choose between getting a prescription filled and paying rent or putting food on the table for their family. As Governor, Auditor Galloway will take concrete steps to lower the cost of prescription drugs and ensure that Missourians can afford life-saving medications.
- Create the Missouri Prescription Drug Contracting Alliance: As Governor, Auditor Galloway will make prescription drugs affordable by bringing together state health programs, county health plans, and certain 501 c(3) programs under the new “Missouri Prescription Drug Contracting Alliance.” This effort will help ensure the costs savings Missouri has seen from its participation in the Minnesota Multistate Contracting Alliance for Pharmacy are brought home so that more Missourians can benefit.
Bring Down Healthcare Costs For Missouri’s Working Families
The cost of healthcare for Missourians with private insurance is rising. The average Missouri family is paying more now than they were just a few years ago in annual premiums and deductibles. Employers are also shouldering more of the burden of healthcare costs for workers. As Governor, Auditor Galloway will take steps to contain the growth in out-of-pocket costs, employee and employer premiums, and deductibles in order for Missourians to keep more of their own money — and afford their healthcare.
- Create An Office Of Health Policy To Set Priorities For Cost Containment And Transparency: As Governor, Auditor Galloway will create an Office of Health Policy composed of stakeholders from the state’s insurance and healthcare systems, MoHealthNet, and experts with a sharp focus on setting a per-capita cost containment goal for Missouri and increasing transparency around pricing.
- Require Greater Transparency In Healthcare Costs: The Office of Health Policy will set a cost growth goal and focus on strategies for reducing costs modeled on other state approaches. This can start with requiring greater transparency in healthcare pricing within Missouri health systems through an All-Payer Claims Database, which at least 26 states already have. This database would collect valuable data around pricing for procedures and spending by both public and private insurers that can be accessed by policymakers seeking cost reduction strategies.
- Allow Employers To Pool Together To Negotiate With Providers: Small and medium-sized businesses should be allowed to join together to negotiate directly with providers for employee health insurance plans and reference-based pricing strategies should be employed as a mechanism to bring cost uniformity to procedures.
- Increase Home-based Care: As Governor, Auditor Galloway will put in place a regulatory framework that allows reimbursement for more in-home care, including acute care, which can reduce system-wide costs. An Office of Health Policy can make recommendations for reforms that allow more healthcare to be delivered in-home, which reduces higher costs associated with care provided in hospitals and long-term care facilities.
- Expand Medicaid: Medicaid expansion reduces uncompensated care in hospitals. The resulting reduction in uninsured visits to healthcare providers can lower uncompensated care costs to hospitals by $6.8 billion by 2022. Those are costs that aren’t passed along to insured patients through higher prices for procedures.
Implement Medicaid Expansion
Implementing Medicaid expansion won’t just expand healthcare to hundreds of thousands of Missourians — it represents one of the biggest economic development opportunities for Missouri, especially rural Missouri. Governor Mike Parson has spent his career undermining voter-approved initiatives — and actively opposed expanding Medicaid for years. Only Auditor Galloway can be trusted to expand Medicaid.
- A Clinic in Every County: With the expansion of Medicaid, Auditor Galloway will work to ensure that there is a primary care clinic in every county in Missouri and that rural hospitals receive the funds they need to stay open. Currently, nine rural counties lack healthcare clinics in Missouri. And, due in part to the closure of seven rural hospitals in recent years, some Missourians in rural communities find themselves having to drive more than fifty miles to get the care they need. The Galloway administration will also work with local providers to open clinics in predominantly Black communities, and expand healthcare job training programs to ensure that the benefits of expanding Medicaid are more than providing insurance, but also creating jobs and expanding access to healthcare.
- Telehealth: Expand utilization of telehealth by ensuring reimbursement parity with in-person visits and investing in distant site technology, including broadband.
- No Cuts or Tax Hikes: Over the past year, Governor Parson has repeatedly said that if Missourians approved Medicaid, he would be forced to raise taxes or make cuts to critical programs. Yet a study from Washington University has shown that Medicaid expansion will be revenue-neutral. Auditor Galloway promises to expand Medicaid without raising taxes or cutting programs.
- Identifying Budget Savings Under Medicaid Expansion: As Governor, Auditor Galloway will establish a Medicaid Expansion Implementation working group within MoHealthNet to maximize system-wide budget savings.
- Expanding Access To Mental Healthcare: Expanding access to mental healthcare is even more vital now as we recover from the public health and economic emergency created by the COVID-19 pandemic. Auditor Galloway would use federal dollars coming to Missouri to help address the coverage gap that keeps people from accessing mental healthcare and utilize the fiscal benefits from expansion and the CARES Act to fund mental healthcare services.
Address The Opioid Epidemic And Addiction Crisis
As Governor, Auditor Galloway will give our law enforcement personnel the tools they need to go after pill farms, work with the Attorney General to keep the pressure on the drug manufacturers and provide the resources for treatment. Auditor Galloway will expand proven community programs that intervene to stop violence, like the CURE program, and expand proven community programs that intervene to stop addiction. Missouri also needs to ensure that Missouri hospitals are equipped to provide the appropriate medications for opioid use disorder — and that those who suffer from addiction are able to receive the treatment they need rather than relying solely on incarceration to solve this crisis.
- Pass A Statewide Prescription Drug Monitoring Program: Missouri is the only state without a statewide PDMP — Auditor Galloway will push to finally get a statewide Prescription Drug Monitoring Program passed. The program has bipartisan support but politics keeps getting in the way.