Your Opinion: Convince majority party to strengthen Medicaid

Dear Editor:

On April 16, Gov. Jay Nixon is holding a Strengthening Medicaid Rally at the Capitol. Hundreds of citizens are expected to travel to Jefferson City and tout their support for Medicaid expansion. The ($8.2 billion) dollar question is, will the Legislature listen?

The majority party ignored the compassionate, love-thy-neighbor argument when 200 Missouri faith-based voters came to the Capitol and pleaded for Medicaid expansion. After all, health care is a privilege, not a right. I must have missed that lesson in Sunday School.

The majority party dismissed the it’s good for Missouri’s economy argument when chambers of commerce throughout the state came out in support of Medicaid expansion. Increasing jobs and state revenue while simultaneously helping the less fortunate apparently is not the Legislature’s top priority.

The majority party also disregarded the Missouri Primary Care Association’s and the Missouri Hospital Association’s argument — if we don’t expand Medicaid, rural hospitals may have to close. I guess driving an extra couple of hours in the middle of the night with a sick child isn’t as bad it seems.

The majority party has its reasons for not expanding Medicaid. I want to know whose reasons they are. Because if they aren’t listening to the advocates, business leaders, doctors, hospital officials and patients, who are they listening to?

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