St. Louis Public Radio News
5:42 am
Wed March 25, 2009

Cost of healthcare outpacing wage increases in Missouri

St. Louis, MO – Health care advocates say Missouri has over 120,000 more uninsured residents than it did a decade ago, and that does not factor in changes since the start of the recession.

An ongoing study by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation found that approximately 740,000 Missourians do not have insurance.

John Lumpkin is a Senior Vice President at the foundation. He says rising premiums are simply too much for workers to afford.

"In Missouri the cost of health care has risen 12 times over the increase in wages" says Lumpkin. "Workers are being forced to make a decision between buying healthcare insurance or paying the rent and putting food on their family's table."

The foundation released the updated statistics to coincide with national "Cover the Uninsured Week".

Lumpkin claims that the rapid adoption of new health care technology has pushed up costs.

Leaders in both the House and Senate have stated a goal of drafting healthcare reform legislation by August.