During my eight years in the Missouri General Assembly, I worked on issues that involved public safety, crime prevention, emergency preparedness and corrections – familiar topics for a former Buchanan County deputy sheriff with 30 years behind the badge.
So why would a conservative, retired law enforcement officer support Medicaid expansion, which is headed to the Aug. 4 statewide election ballot?
Because Medicaid expansion makes fiscal sense. Thirty-six other states, including Louisiana, Utah and Arkansas, have already done this. Many are conservative states with Republican governors or Republican-controlled legislatures.
Expanding Medicaid will provide healthcare coverage to over 230,000 hardworking Missourians. These are our neighbors who work in low-wage industries, or at a farm or ranch that doesn’t provide health insurance.
Approving Medicaid expansion will give individuals with incomes under $18,000 a year a chance to get coverage. A family of three could qualify if they make as much as $31,000 a year.
Many of our friends, family members and neighbors would finally have a way to see the doctor, afford medications they need to take but will not because of cost, and pay for a lifesaving surgery or treatment.
So why should we help provide health coverage for these working families? It means Missourians will have less medical debt, fewer bankruptcies and evictions, and more income to be spent on rent, groceries and goods and services in Missouri, from Missouri businesses.
This Aug. 4, on Election Day, please join me and other conservative-thinking people in supporting Medicaid expansion.