LETTER: Cutting funds for Ellis Fischel doesn't make sense

Wednesday, June 24, 2009 | 12:40 p.m. CDT

Someone needs to teach Gov. Jay Nixon a lesson on both economics and values. Attempting to deny funds for the Ellis Fischel Cancer Center demonstrates Nixon is incompetent at planning Missouri’s budget and is too callous to care about life-threatening ailments that afflict Missourians and their families.

First, funding the hospital makes economic sense. Clearly, 0.13 percent of the state’s $23 billion budget can be reserved for this indispensable project, especially since this money comes from the federal government’s stimulus package. Does Nixon not realize that expanding a cancer hospital boosts the economy by providing construction jobs, luring doctors and support staff, and even attracting out-of-state medical students?

More importantly, providing essential care to those battling cancer is an absolute necessity. I lost two grandparents to cancer and saw another suffer through the horrible disease. The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services predicts this atrocious illness will claim the lives of nearly 13,000 Missourians annually in addition to impacting countless family members and loved ones. Witnessing the tragic loss of human life alone leads any principled person to join the fight against cancer.

Unfortunately, Nixon’s office intends to withhold funds for the cancer hospital. Although Sen. Kurt Scheafer, R-Columbia, has made valiant efforts to secure this life-saving project, Nixon is proving to be incompetent at handling Missouri’s budget and not compassionate towards the needs of everyday Missourians. I urge all Missourians to call the governor's office at 573-751-3222 and demand that we make cancer a tragedy of the past.

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Charles Dudley Jr June 26, 2009 | 9:23 p.m.

Maybe Nixon is a closet Libertarian and expects the 501c3's to pick up the entire cost since he does not obviously think public health care and education is of a real public interest to all of us.

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