JEFFERSON CITY (KSDK) - A rally at the Missouri Capitol Tuesday ended in arrests, after demonstrators took their cause into the Senate gallery. Religious groups from across the state, including St. Louis, were rallying in support of Medicaid expansion. It was a very passionate group that showed up to the Capitol for the rally. They came bearing the message that Medicaid expansion isn't a political issue, it's a moral one.
Like scared little boys huddling in a closet, the members of the Missouri Senate’s so-called “conservative” caucus this week begged the monster under their bed to go away.
The monster is Medicaid expansion. The senators want it to leave them alone because they can’t make it go away on their own. Their intellectual argument on the merits of the issue has been laid bare by studies, colleagues, donors and other conservatives who have come to realize that balancing budgets and saving lives is a bit more important than simply hating Obamacare.
One in five jobs in Missouri is linked to health care. Hospitals and clinics are among the largest job providers in most communities and a vital part of our state’s economy. The industry is so robust that you may not have noticed that they have eliminated nearly 1,000 positions in the last six months, and are implementing a hiring freeze on 2,145 more positions. Why?
For those still not convinced by the editorial board’s piece “ ‘This thing is working’ ” (April 21), the bone of contention is almost always about cost.
Many conservative legislators and their constituents all seem to be asking the same question: “How will Missouri pay for costs of Medicaid expansion?” The real question is: How can we afford not to?
When examining the recent successes of the Affordable Care Act, many of which were outlined by President Barack Obama in a speech last week, it’s difficult to settle on the most important number:
It’s not the unemployed who would benefit the most if Missouri expanded its Medicaid program through the Affordable Care Act.
It’s the cooks and waitresses, cashiers and cab drivers, housekeepers and parking attendants — people working low-wage jobs — who would be most likely to gain health care coverage, according to a report released Thursday by a group of Medicaid expansion supporters that spans the political spectrum.
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