Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Border War; Our View; Most of Missouri's Border States Are Expanding Medicaid. What Is the Show-Me State Waiting For?

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Border War; Our View; Most of Missouri's Border States Are Expanding Medicaid. What Is the Show-Me State Waiting For?

Article excerpt

More often than not, when Missouri Republicans want to say no to something no to taxes, no to the federal government two issues dominate their arguments.

First is states' rights. Second is competition with other states, particularly Missouri's eight border states.

Given those arguments, here's a number that ought to give those Republicans some pause:

As of Monday, 26 states one more than half the states in the nation are pursuing Medicaid expansion.

Missouri, of course, is not yet one of them. Oh, sure, Gov. Jay Nixon, a Democrat, has made it a priority, though it took him a while to get started. And at least one House Republican, Rep. Jay Barnes of Jefferson City, has tried to convince his colleagues that allowing Missouri tax dollars to flow to other states is bad public policy. But most Missouri Republicans are so caught up in their jihad against Obamacare that they can't find a way to put the state's best interest above their own narrow political futures.

Meanwhile, those neighboring states that get mentioned every time Republicans are worried about jobs hopping across state lines, are pursuing Medicaid expansion to the benefit of both their economies and the health and welfare of their working poor.

The latest tally shows that five of the eight states bordering Missouri are pursuing the billions of federal dollars that go with bringing federal health insurance to the working poor.

Those five states Iowa, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee and Arkansas are trying to find a way to pump billions of dollars into health care jobs. Those five states are saying to people who are trying to make ends meet in a tough economic environment that it's good public policy to take the federal money being offered to pay 100 percent of the cost for the first three years of providing health insurance to their families.

The latest states to jump on the Medicaid expansion bandwagon Pennsylvania and Michigan are significant for two reasons. Both are run by Republican governors. …

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