To The Editor:

Being able to see a doctor is a basic right. However, 877,000 Missourians currently have no health insurance.

Expanding Medicaid will allow 260,000 of our hardworking neighbors to gain insurance. Missouri currently makes it harder than almost any other state to qualify for Medicaid. Under today’s rules, a single mother of two can’t qualify for basic health care through Medicaid if she makes anything more than $3,504 per year just 18 percent of the poverty line.

Expanding Medicaid is also good for our hospitals and economy. This expansion would create more than 24,000 new jobs in the state and will prevent the closure of many rural hospitals.

Expanding Medicaid is popular. We have seen overwhelming public support for Medicaid expansion in special legislative committee hearings across the state. Missouri’s legislative leadership needs to listen to the people and expand Medicaid now! Missouri has lost vital time and resources during this period of national economic recovery.

Expanding Medicaid is a necessary step to help all Missourians regain a quality of life we lost in the last decade.

Robert Cimasi

St. Louis