Missouri’s hospitals are doing some pump-priming to help more Missourians get health-care coverage. The state and the Missouri Hospital Association are reaching back to the Ashcroft governorship for an idea that will bring tens of millions of federal dollars to Missouri to provide healthcare for almost 35-thousand more low-income parents.

Missouri’s hospitals are putting up more than 52-million dollars, which will let the state get 90-million dollars more from the federal government. Governor Nixon says the combined amount will provide health insurance for low income families. "A single mother with two children would qualify making up to $9,155 a year. A family of four…would qualify up to a combined income of $11,025 a year. Underneath both of those levels folks that previously did not have access to healthcare coverage would get that coverage," he says.

The hospitals will get their money back–and more, perhaps–because the program would provide insurance payments for care those low-income Missourians get at hospitals now, for which they cannot afford payment. Nixon says the program also should take some pressure off of the premiums other Missourians pay for their health insurance coverage because hospitals won’t have to charge insured people so much to make up for the unreimbursed costs of treating those without coverage.

Nixon hopes the legislature can pass an enabling bill that puts the program in place July first.

Download Bob Priddy’s story (:60 mp3)