To the editor:
It is imperative that we support the Missouri Medicaid Expansion Act. Why? The 300,000 Missourians who are among the poorest of the poor and lowest-income struggling working class will not be covered under the Affordable Care Act. The federal government left this for the states to cover. Our legislators failed to pass our MEA bill last year, but shortly may have another opportunity to vote again for the well-being of all Missourians.
Aside from the self-evident premise of human dignity and equality for all, there are the following temporal facts:
• MEA is fully funded by the federal government for the first three years. From 2014 through 2021, it will bring in $15.7 billion from the feds while the state pays only $806 million total in matching funds (after the first three years) through 2021.
• By accepting the federal funds, Missouri covers the 300,000 residents and saves millions of taxpayer dollars currently spent inefficiently treating uninsured people in emergency rooms. This comprises $385 million from 2013 through 2022 and could be spent on public safety and education, infrastructure, or even to offset the matching funds payout.
• Without the MEA, hospitals could lose nearly $400 million in funding in 2014 alone, putting many rural and other “safety net” hospitals at risk of closure.
• MEA will create 24,000 new jobs in the first year alone, bringing $20 billion over 10 years.
Finally, Paul pointed out to the Philippians that whether the truth and righteousness was put into effect out of love and good will or out of selfish ambition and rivalry, it was of no consequence as long as the mission was accomplished. Amen, my brothers and sisters. Tell your state senator and state representative: Let us do it.