Letter to the Editor

Ask senator to oppose cuts

Monday, April 12, 2004

To the editor:

I applaud your April 7 editorial "Providing care" in which you point out that 62 percent of the population in Cape Girardeau County and Scott City is uninsured or on Medicaid or Medicare. You then suggested that a plan of action is needed in your community before conditions worsen.

I would like to call your attention to the dynamics at play in the Missouri Legislature. The leadership is proposing radical changes that will unravel 50 years of work in just a very short time.

Republicans in the House already approved $50 million in cuts to Medicaid and passed House Bill 1566, which would cut millions more from the program on which many of your readers depend. Right now, we are looking at the real possibility that 38,000 adults and 10,000 children will be thrown off Medicaid and that an additional 20,000 children will be cut off from the Missouri children's health insurance program as a result.

In addition, Republicans are strongly pushing for cuts to injured workers' health care in Senate Bill 856 and for the elimination of all state-mandated health-care coverage for private insurance under Senate Bill 805.

Perhaps as your community's first plan of action you might consider urging your state senator, Peter Kinder, to oppose any cuts proposed to these programs, which a large majority of his constituents depend on for their health care.

STATE SEN. KEN JACOB

19th District

Columbia, Mo.