The Missouri legislature has been debating whether to increase access to affordable health care through Medicaid expansion. Currently, Missouri makes it harder than most states to qualify for coverage.
Medicaid expansion increases coverage to adults and families who earn up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level. About 260,000 uninsured would get Medicaid.
Many claim that Medicaid expansion is too expensive and the federal government will renege on its promise to pay 100 percent of the cost for the first three years.
Others doubt that more jobs would be created and doubt there would be no additional state revenue. Others fear that funding will be diverted from education to cover Medicaid costs.
But Missouri’s large population of uninsured residents is already costly to the state. Increasing access to health insurance is the solution to save on our state health-care costs.
We can change this if enough people contact legislators insisting that Missouri provide affordable health care. Not only would we live out our promise to care for “the least of these,” but we would honor our Missouri motto: “The welfare of the people shall be the supreme law.”
Limit oil exports
If it is drilled here keep it here.
There has been a huge push to “drill, baby drill” the last eight years. The government has eased restrictions on new oil drilling and exploration so much that oil has become a leading U.S. export .
North Dakota crude and Canadian oil-shale deposits are booming. Let’s build a pipeline to the nearest seaport. New Orleans comes to mind.
Oil companies sell to the highest bidder, such as China and India. I thought the idea was to lower the price for the U.S. Sorry, but no.
This is North America’s oil. Keep it here.
Memorial Day is May 27. Expect fuel to go up.
This is a natural resource of North America. It is yours and mine. Oil companies make plenty on their investment. Restrict exports of our oil.
Don’t cut state taxes
With one more vote, the Missouri Senate could send to Gov. Jay Nixon a proposal to cut personal and corporate income taxes. Proponents of the measure claim that because Kansas massively cut its income taxes last year, Missouri should do the same.
But Missouri should not chase Kansas to the bottom. Our state already has a very competitive tax and regulatory environment.
Further tax cuts are not advisable, particularly in light of the state’s inability to adequately fund basic operating needs and services. Missouri must maintain quality public services to remain competitive.
An efficient transportation infrastructure, reliable public safety, excellent schools and first-rate, affordable colleges that produce a skilled workforce are essential to our state’s success. Unfortunately, Missouri has already drastically cut state services, increasing class sizes, raising college tuition and deferring maintenance on Missouri’s roads and bridges.
Further tax cuts would only make matters worse and do nothing to create jobs or make businesses more competitive.
Donald J. Hall Jr.
of Greater Kansas City
U.S. Constitution lite
I can’t decide whether we Americans are blessed or cursed by the actions of our elected officials.
Laws are passed to ban Sharia law, even though our Constitution is the supreme law of our land.
Many officials evidently have a vast background in reproductive health because they are so highly motivated to tell women what to do.
They have to create voter-identification laws because apparently ACORN is planning a huge voter fraud.
The call to ban all abortions would be seen as useless if our officials knew history. See how well Prohibition did. There was a demand for a product, and the need was met by a criminal element. The same would be true with abortions.
Many officials declare themselves as strict constitutionalists, but instead of simply “advise and consent, it has become obstruct, slander and defame.
The filibuster is not included in our Constitution and actually nullifies one of the vice president’s few duties.
Separation of church and state goes both ways. Protect the church from the state, and protect the state from the church.
Keep individuals’ beliefs out of our laws.
U.S. gun control
Missouri citizens should be writing their U.S. senators urging them to vote for meaningful gun-control reforms. That would include a universal background check (supported by more than 90 percent of the American public), a ban on assault weapons, limits on the size of gun magazines and increased funding for treating and identifying the mentally ill.
Republican Sen. Roy Blunt is opposed to all of these measures except the last one. It is unclear why he objects to a universal background check because it does not impinge on the rights of current gun owners in any way.
Indeed, he completely ignored the issue in his reply to a recent email.
Don’t let this historic chance to enact effective gun-control reform be wasted. Write Sen. Blunt now.
Sen. Claire McCaskill is already on record supporting a ban on assault weapons. She is also likely to support a universal background check.
If you are among the 90-plus percent who support this vital reform, let Sen. McCaskill know now.
This is the time for action.
Virginia and David Jones
Cheers for runners
I am one of the runners who was held at mile 25.5 when the bombs went off at the Boston Marathon. Although I was disappointed not to finish, it soon became clear that running was insignificant compared with the other things that were going on.
Thanks to the people at Garmin, I was able to finish my Boston Marathon at the Garmin Marathon in Olathe on April 20.
Also, a big thanks to the running community in Kansas City for stepping forward to support the Boston runners and those who were hurt during the run.
Praise for jogger
To the jogger who found my injured son April 9 at the scenic overlook at Second and Main streets: Thank you for summoning help so quickly.
Your actions allowed emergency responders to get him to Truman Medical Center.
You, along with the incredible staff of Truman Medical Center, stabilized him, which allowed us a week to be with him, hold, touch and talk to him — allowing all — including his children, sisters, family and friends to say our goodbyes to him.
May God bless you in all ways.
He was a wonderful son, father, husband, brother and friend. We will miss him every day of our lives.
You are truly an angel, and we can never thank you enough for your unselfish act.
We will forever treasure our last moments with him.
Sharing life’s lessons
My 93 years of life offer this for the benefit of other Kansas City area residents:
Grow spiritually and seek God’s direction. Be honest and true in your love life.
Find companionship that you can trust. Be proud of your ethical life.
Be positive in what you say and do. Place others and their needs as a major interest of yours.
Be careful, and take care of your body. Find a hobby that will be good throughout your life.
Trust and plan carefully and wisely. Be a happy soul. Enjoy life.
Look for ways to strengthen your mind. Form a life philosophy that makes you proud.
Allow your life to be a good example. Use your leisure time to be creative or write or read.
Be a leader. Think for yourself. Speak up.
Give your parents the credit they deserve. Think carefully about risks. Plan ahead.
Recognize the value of “thank you” and “I love you.”