Letter to the Editor

Medicaid expansion needed

Senator Wallingford, after reading your piece in the SEMO times, I can see you're on the right track, but let's cut to the chase. We need to have the conversation about Medicaid expansion. Your constituents are hurting every day Missouri goes without expanding Medicaid.

You're right; Southeast Missouri did gain 38,000 newly insured individuals thanks to the Affordable Care Act. This is a great start. However, we all know that there are thousands more who are still without health care. Senator, there are over 22,000 people in your district alone who fall into the coverage gap. These are the hardworking individuals that you represent, who don't qualify for Medicaid or the subsidies from the Affordable Care Act. These are the same individuals who are forced to choose between their family's health-care needs, and their finances. I SEE IT EVERY DAY. We can't live this way any longer. Your silence is killing us.

It's not just Missouri people who are hurting; it's our communities as well. Since Missouri has not expanded Medicaid, our hospitals are shutting down due to lack of funds.

Senator Wallingford, we need you now more than ever. It's time to have the debate. Tell your fellow members in the Missouri Legislature that our communities are suffering, and it's up to them to make a difference. Do what's right for Missouri, and expand Medicaid this legislative session.

T. Thompson, the vice chair of Empower Missouri SEMO, resides in Jackson