JEFFERSON CITY, Mo.-The Missouri Hospital Association has contributed $50,000 to a coalition buying political advertisements to oppose a state ballot initiative to raise the minimum wage to $6.25. "We figure that the proposed mini mum-wage increase would raise the cost of hospital care in Missouri by more than $218 million over the next three years," said Charles L. Bowman, MHA president. Because hospitals can't raise prices, he said, "the additional wage cost would go in the loss column, and that might be the final factor in curtailing healthcare services all across the state." Proposition A on the Nov. 5 ballot would raise the minimum wage in Missouri from $4.75, the new federal rate, to $6.25 an hour effective Jan. 1. The Missouri minimum wage would rise to $6.50 in 1998 and $6.75 in 1999. Every year thereafter it would go up 15 cents. The MHA estimates that 19,000 positions would be subject to the wage i ncrease or to a ripple effect. Missouri hospitals employ 97,000 full-time-equivalent workers. Bowman predicted that job creation would slow or stop if the wage measure passes. Some hospitals might even cut jobs. More hospitals woul d operate in the red, and rural hospitals would be especially harmed, the association said.
Send us a letter
Have an opinion about this story? Click here to submit a Letter to the Editor, and we may publish it in print.