Dillon is picking his words carefully. That's because Missouri's hospitals did not create this "preconception" that they now have to overcome. In coarser terms, the report shows that refusing Medicaid expansion dollars hurts rural whites as much if not more than it hurts urban blacks.
The data also show that most of these blacks and whites who could be served by the Medicaid expansion are holding down jobs that provide no health benefits. These people are not the "moochers" and "takers" that some would have us believe. Their common denominator is poverty.
"The low Medicaid eligibility level being $9.59 a day for income just tells you that even adults with children would have a very hard time being eligible," Dillon says.
There is some hope that Missouri elected officials are coming around. The Missouri House and Senate have each formed interim committees to examine the Medicaid expansion to see if they can find a compromise proposal during the 2014 session. Dillon says many lawmakers understand what is at stake.