Recently, State House representative for Webster County (John Black from the 137th and Hanna Kelly from the 141st House Districts) visited the Webster County Democrats to discuss issues and answer questions. This is a followup to those discussion that may be useful to the citizens of Webster County.

Dear Representatives Kelly and Black,

On behalf of the Webster County Democrats, I want express our thanks for joining us at Sheila’s for our August meeting. Your willingness to meet with us and discuss some of our issues is appreciated, and you both are to be commended.

We discussed a broad array of issues that are important for Missouri citizens, e.g., Medicaid Expansion, Clean Missouri (gerrymandering), voter initiatives, Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) and more. For future meetings, we will give you questions that we want to discuss in advance so that you can research information if needed. That will make for a much more productive meeting.

This letter serves to recap one of the issues discussed at our meeting. There are several other issuers we will follow up as well, however we believe it would be more beneficial to address one issue at a time and have follow up correspondence on those matters not addressed here.

Our recap is as follows.

ISSUE:        Medicaid Expansion

QUESTION:    What is being proposed in Jeff City to address the intensifying healthcare crisis caused in part by not expanding Medicaid in our state?

In May 2019, FOX Business Report identified Missouri as ranking 41st among the 50 states in healthcare, a ranking most Missourians would find of concern.

John and Hannah offered no plans or initiatives that are under consideration in Jeff City to address the growing healthcare crisis which is exacerbated by Republicans refusal to expand Medicaid in Missouri. Hannah stated she was opposed to implementation of Medicaid Expansion, but did not offer any noteworthy reason for her position. She recommended a document called the McKinsey Report (and said it was not being covered in the media). This report is an analysis, by an outside firm commissioned by the state, to identify ways to cut waste out of the state government. Exactly how this report negates the need for Medicaid Expansion was not explained.

Neither would acknowledge a health care crisis in the state. Hannah stated that her office had only one call having to do with Medicaid, so it wasn’t on her radar. John recognized that rural hospitals were facing real issues and stated “We are going to try to do something about it” … but did not elaborate.

Medicaid Expansion for the state was briefly discussed, mostly with a point of view expressed by Hannah and John that it would only be an additional expense. The fiscal outcome of Medicaid Expansion, a key in evaluating its viability, was not discussed in any depth. Yet a variety of studies have been completed by various credible institutions (including Washington University/St. Louis, April 2019) produced findings indicating would be fiscally beneficial to implement it, as the state would come out ahead financially.

Follow Up Questions for Hannah and John

We would like to know if the Republicans in Jeff City have performed a cost/benefit analysis of the fiscal impact of Medicaid expansion implementation? If so, would you share it with us?

Will you share with us findings from the McKinsey Report?

Does the Republican majority in Jeff City have any plans to improve healthcare for Missouri citizens? 

How will rural hospitals in financial trouble be assisted to prevent closures?

We look forward to your written responses.

Sincerely,

The Democratic Party of Webster County Missouri

P O Box 821

Marshfield MO 65706

John Shaughnessy, Chair

Lisa Jameson, Vice-chair

Dan Philbin, Treasurer

Janet Wilson, Secretary

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