Your Opinion: Rude treatment at House hearing

Dear Editor:

On Monday of last week I attended the hearing at the Capitol building held in front of Rep. Jay Barnes committee on the expansion of Medicaid. Although dozens of people were there to give testimony, the hearing was held to less than two hours. Most of those giving testimony were there to represent some of Missouri’s largest and important organizations, hospitals, primary care providers, the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and American Cancer society were among those giving testimony.

Throughout the course of events it became clear the members of Rep. Barnes’s committee were poorly informed about the Affordable Health Care act and the expansion of Medicaid. On several occasions the reps made incorrect statements about the expansion of Medicaid and had to be factually corrected by witnesses.

Another observation was the rudeness towards those giving testimony and badgering of those testifying on issues of President Obama’s presidency, and other issues that seemed to have little to do with the subject of Medicaid expansion.

The eventual outcome of the hearing was obvious long before the vote was ever taken. I can understand people having a difference of opinion on matters of government policy, however I had hoped those voting on an issue as important as health care for 300,000 Missouri citizens and $9 billion of our tax dollars, would have been more interested in the facts, as opposed to conservative talking points.

If Rep. Barnes hopes to continue in leadership in our state government I would hope he and his fellow reps would be better informed on issues and show more respect to those invited to give testimony in hearings.

Issue-oriented letters to the editor in response to this or about other local topics are welcome. All letters should be limited to 400 words. The author's name must appear with the letter, and the name, address and phone number provided for verification. Letters that cannot be verified by telephone will not be published. Send letters for publication to editor@newstribune.com

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