This is a bad time for Missourians without adequate health insurance. Rising health care costs, cuts by employers, and reductions in the state Medicaid program are putting many Missourians — and tens of thousands of our own neighbors in the City — at risk.
The problem cannot be solved locally, but it can be addressed.
The Missouri Foundation for Health has challenged us to meet a $3.54 million challenge grant to fund the $7.1 million one-time transaction costs of transferring ownership of four ConnectCare primary health clinics to the Grace Hill and Myrtle Hilliard Davis Comprehensive Health Centers.
This transfer is a critical component in an agreement between St. Louis and the Federal government to preserve more than $25 million in fed payments that currently support more than 70 percent of ConnectCare’s annual budget. If we fail to implement this agreement, 60,000 citizens served by ConnectCare will be at risk.
Creative budgeting and difficult choices have located most of the City’s match to the challenge grant. But, there remains a gap of several hundred thousand dollars that must be closed immediately.
I have asked City alderman to permit the one-time transfer of $20,000 from each ward’s capital accounts to meet the requirements of the challenge. Without this funding, the transfer and grant will not be made.
I’ll let you know what happens.