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Letter: Poor lack political clout to alter GOP Medicaid stance

Letter: Poor lack political clout to alter GOP Medicaid stance

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In the letter “Lawmakers show cruelty for not expanding Medicaid” (May 3), it’s noted that more Missourians will continue to suffer because lawmakers refuse to expand Medicaid. The letter writer asks: Why can’t Missouri expand Medicaid like 39 other states have already done?

The answer is very simple: The 275,000 Missourians who stand to benefit from Medicaid expansion are, by and large, the working poor and poor people who have traditionally — and for good reason — supported the Democratic Party. Had the promulgation of country club memberships or down payments for Lexus automobiles been in the offing, then the GOP lawmakers would have approved the funding in a heartbeat. And Gov. Mike Parson would have signed it into law in record time.

Very ill citizens can get Medicaid, but it is a time-consuming and arduous process. Medicaid relies on specially selected doctors to screen patients, and they mostly decide against enrollment (unless perhaps the patient is in a wheelchair or missing an arm). If applicants are not approved, they then must go to law firms specializing in taking the government to court to secure benefits. The law firms don’t demand money up front, but the process takes upwards of two years. I went through it. A person can get very bereft in two years’ time.

Missouri’s Republican-controlled Legislature won’t expand Medicaid because it is not politically advantageous for them to do so. They are heartless; they are cruel; and they are not honorable Christian men and women, but what else is new?

Bill Tope • Wood River

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