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Your Opinion: Petulant resistance to expanding Medicaid

by Sue Gibson, Jefferson City | May 31, 2015 at 6:20 p.m. | Updated May 31, 2015 at 6:20 p.m.

Dear Editor:

Much like the Missouri legislature, Texas lawmakers have their heels dug in against expanding Medicaid.

Texas business owners make the point that while personal and corporate taxes flow to Washington, D.C., federal tax dollars are refused by the state, everyone's health insurance premiums are higher than they would be if more people were covered. Businesses would rather use their money to maintain and improve equipment, hire more workers, raise salaries, and elevate the value of their shares, instead of paying those higher premiums on each employee.

Economic studies in Texas show that, in the short term, every dollar invested in expanding Medicaid would generate $1.30 in economic activity. Economists add that long-term benefits would include prolonging the viability of individual workers, an easy cost savings for businesses, when one considers the expense of investment in training employees. Fewer people becoming disabled due to preventable effects of chronic illnesses would save all of society money as well.

The childish petulance exhibited by both the Missouri and Texas legislatures is unflattering and, frankly, embarrassing to witness. It cannot be defended with any measure of rationality.

As a member of the National Organization for Women, I call upon the Missouri legislature to quash their hysterical emotional resistance to doing the right thing for Missourians and legislate with level heads in 2016.

Close the health insurance coverage gap and put Missouri on the road to economic success.

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