To provide some commentary to state Sen. Wallingford's piece about the opportunity Missouri has regarding the choice of whether to provide health insurance for more than 250,000 of our neighbors, I believe some observations can be made:First, Medicaid expansion is about extending medical care and related benefits to folks employed at wages at or below the poverty level in Missouri. These folks may include single parents, students and other hardworking taxpayers who are somehow supplanted into an unfortunate quandary of lacking any real coverage. If our state motto is, in fact, "the welfare of the people shall be the supreme law," shouldn't we care about the living conditions of our neighbors?
Second, it will be difficult without this expansion for Missouri to progress as a job-creating entity. What better deters progressive, out-of-state business owners more than private insurance premiums that are driven up by the subsidizing of a large segment of the workforce that is completely uninsured? Costly visits to the emergency room and care for sick children are some examples of vital needs that must be fairly administered. Hospitals and insurance companies pass these costs on to Missouri businesses and workers in the form of higher premiums. Expansion can help correct this and allow for a more pleasant business climate that may serve to keep jobs here and entice out-of-state companies to create even more.
Put simply, Medicaid expansion is the right thing to do and the smart thing to do.
JEBEDIAH MORRIS, Cape Girardeau