Letter to the Editor

Amendment 2 and pandemic

On Aug. 4, Missourians will have the opportunity to vote for the expansion of Medicaid. Medicaid is the health insurance program that covers qualifying individuals with low income or disabilities, pregnant women, and the elderly.

To date, 38 states (including Washington, D.C.) have already expanded or have voted to expand Medicaid. Missouri joins 12 other states choosing not to expand. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, currently one in 11 adults, one in three children, and two in three nursing home residents in Missouri rely on Medicaid.

Yet, an estimated 113,000 Missourians fall in the "coverage gap" meaning they have no real access to health insurance. On top of this, the COVID-19 pandemic has led to dramatic unemployment resulting in loss of employment-based insurance. A report by non-partisan Families USA estimates that 100,000 Missourians lost their health insurance between February and May of this year.

What cruelty must it take that during a global pandemic we do not offer healthcare insurance to those in most need?

Instead we can choose love by expanding Medicaid and making nearly 200,000 more Missourians eligible for health insurance. If more people having access to healthcare doesn't convince you, try this: Medicaid expansion will most likely lead to net savings. Indeed, 90% of the bill will be paid for by the federal government. To not expand is to reject tax dollars returning to Missouri.

Choose to love your neighbor and vote Yes on Amendment 2.

NICHOLAS BADER, Ste. Genevieve, Missouri