LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Thank you, City Council, for Medicaid resolution

Thursday, December 19, 2013 | 3:50 p.m. CST; updated 11:03 a.m. CST, Friday, December 20, 2013

I attended the City Council meeting on Monday, Dec. 16, where the council passed a resolution 5-1 to support Medicaid expansion.

I just wanted to express my gratitude to City Council and Mayor Bob McDavid. While the economic incentives are certainly a strong argument, the humanitarian element cannot be ignored.

City Council members and those testifying in support of expansion shared touching stories of those who have found themselves homeless due to the expenses of medical care. The Family Health Center staff described the common occurrence of people who have to choose between seeking care and paying for medications or paying their rent.

The consequences of not having access to health care is severe and results in human suffering.

Fifth Ward Councilwoman Laura Nauser was the only council member who did not support expansion. Nauser also did not think it was appropriate for the city to take up this issue.

The city of Columbia is not living in a vacuum. We will feel the impact. People who continue to go without insurance in our city will feel this, and their families will feel this as well. You cannot deny the impact it will have on the health of our community.

In addition, I think it’s safe to say Columbia would benefit from the thousands of new jobs and $856 million in new state and local taxes that will be generated. Mayor McDavid referenced these numbers from a 2012 report.

I hope those representing the Columbia area in Jefferson City are paying attention.

Ben Edes lives in Columbia.

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Michael Williams December 19, 2013 | 4:52 p.m.

Does anyone have a link to a description of those " thousands of new jobs and $856 million in new state and local taxes that will be generated?"

I've not seen a breakdown or any discussion which itemizes these things....just vague mentions. I'd like to read up on the issue.

(Report Comment)
Joy Mayer December 20, 2013 | 8:00 a.m.

@Michael Williams — thanks. It looks like you're right — those numbers are on page 6 of the pdf you linked to.

Joy Mayer, Columbia Missourian

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams December 20, 2013 | 8:53 a.m.

Joy: I believe every dollar that exchanges hands eventually goes to someone's salary. Oh, it may not do so directly such as when I buy vegetables straight out of a producer's garden. When we build a community road, even the guy driving the quarry front-end loader gets a paycheck from us at the same time the quarry owner is making a profit. Or, if we make a profit ourself, the money may go to the bank where it is loaned out to you so you can buy a car which eventually pays a union man in STL who put on your bumper.

I was interested in "What jobs are created?" because I do not believe all jobs are created equal or are even necessary. Over the years I've seen taxpayers support jobs which don't really seem to do much towards growth of a society....almost like a "churning" of money that allows someone to survive from today to tomorrow but doesn't create much that lasts. Busy work, if you will.

I favor taxpayer-supported jobs that create a societal asset. I wanted to know if those pushing these vague "new" jobs were promoting busy work or asset work.

(Report Comment)

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