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Columbia Missourian

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Medicaid expansion is a must

By Mimi Martinez
February 5, 2013 | 12:44 p.m. CST

Last week, Gov. Jay Nixon made his State of the State address. In his speech, he continued to provide both the economic and moral reasons to support a Medicaid expansion in Missouri. This issue seems so straightforward to me, and I am once again disappointed by the resistance of legislators to engage in a joint effort to improve the quality of life for 260,000 Missouri residents and create 24,000 jobs in the state of Missouri.

Following this issue in the press, I have been moved by the alliances that have formed to work for the greater good. When are legislators going to disengage from their partisan ways and make decisions that Missouri residents demand? The choice to expand Medicaid should not be debatable. Polls have shown that the majority of Missouri residents want this to happen. Churches, nonprofits, hospitals, the Missouri Chamber of Commerce, the Kansas City Chamber of Commerce, chambers in Independence, Springfield, Lee’s Summit and St. Louis all stand with Gov. Nixon to make this a reality.

As Gov. Nixon put it in his address, “This isn’t the time to reopen the debate or reargue the merits of the president’s health care plan. I had some problems with it, and I know many of you did as well. But Congress passed it, the president signed it and the Supreme Court upheld it.

"It’s the law of the land. And it’s not within our power to rewrite federal laws, even if we wanted to.”

Legislators need to hear that we want this. Contact them; tell your friends, family, co-workers and neighbors. We have to push for Medicaid expansion and improve the lives across the state of Missouri.

Mimi Martinez is an MU graduate student in the School of Social Work.