Can one lawmaker’s extreme beliefs supersede the will of Missouri voters? Apparently the answer is a resounding yes. For the first time in three decades, the Medicaid provider tax, which primarily pays for services for nursing home patients, failed to be renewed.
In addition, Missourians voted to pass Medicaid expansion. Republican Sen. Paul Wieland of Imperial, who has a personal disdain for contraceptives, gummed up the funding for Medicaid expansion and the provider tax by demanding anti-abortion provisions be included in any renewal. State and federal law already bans the use of Medicaid money for abortions and the morning after pill, unless the mother’s life is endangered. Delaying funding of these processes denies health care for 250,000 Missourians. If Gov. Mike Parson calls a special session this summer, Wieland should foot the bill.
Doris Schwartz • Chesterfield