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Missourians should not have to choose between health care and other necessities like food or shelter.

For years, health care advocates have worked together for Medicaid expansion, but a majority of our elected officials in the Missouri Legislature have turned a deaf ear to it.

As a result, more than 200,000 Missourians do not have access to affordable health care, going every day without heart medicine, cancer treatments and other medical services. Now there is an opportunity to win real change for those who earn less than $18,000 a year, who have jobs that don’t offer insurance or who can’t afford health care. The Missouri Medicaid Expansion Initiative would boost our economy and protect rural hospitals from closing. It would also bring more than $1 billion of our tax dollars back to Missouri. Most importantly, Medicaid expansion would provide life-saving health care.

But that would only happen if voters are willing to support it. A petition drive needs 172,000 signatures to get this measure on the November 2020 ballot. Please sign this ballot initiative when you get the chance.

Let’s not let a chance to deliver health care to more than 200,000 Missourians slip through our fingers.

Ed Shew • Lake Saint Louis