Letter: Missourians need health care now

Tuesday, May 20, 2008 | 3:03 p.m. CDT; updated 11:49 a.m. CDT, Thursday, September 3, 2009

The legislative session is over, and it is unacceptable that our legislature largely ignored our health care system. I opposed “Insure Missouri” because it largely benefited profiteers over people, but setting that aside, were there other significant solutions debated?

I don’t have all of the answers, and neither does anyone else. I do know that we are already paying billions in insurance premiums and prescription drug prices that have created one of the highest overhead systems on the planet.

As a nation, we are paying enormous amounts for the administration and marketing of the system, rather than actual health care. No nation’s health care system is perfect, but ours has left around 50 million Americans uninsured and many more underinsured.

How long can we accept this?

We must restore Medicaid to the 160,000 or so who were cut off by Gov. Blunt and the Republican leadership.

Further, until we can get serious about insuring every Missourian, we must look at innovative ways to cut health care costs.

One of my favorites is the prescription drug plan passed in Maine, Hawaii and California, which has saved regular folks hundreds of millions of dollars, using the power of the free market and without state subsidies. For details, you can go to

Ensuring that essential health care needs are met is not about charity; it is about building a stable, successful society. Nothing should be more important than fixing our health care system. You wouldn’t know that from looking at the 2008 legislative session.

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