A conservative case for Medicaid expansion

To the editor:

As a retired medical professional, former state representative and recent presiding Christian County commissioner, I have become increasingly concerned by the recent reports that our major healthcare institutions are having to take steps to cut staff and procedures to remain viable.

We should no longer simply just watch and tolerate the lack of action from my onetime colleagues.

Far too many hardworking Missouri families are slipping through the cracks in that broken system — forced to choose between paying for lifesaving care and putting food on the table.

On Nov. 3, voters across the state will be asked to expand Medicaid eligibility to help more than 230,000 hardworking Missourians access affordable healthcare. I am proud to support this initiative petition and encourage you to as well.

Missourians have waited nearly a decade to solve this problem, and we cannot afford to wait any longer. This ballot measure lets Missouri voters decide what’s best, and it ensures politicians respect the will of the people.

Medicaid expansion will bring more than $1 billion of our tax dollars back from Washington every year, keep rural hospitals open, protect our jobs, and ensure all Missourians have access to healthcare no matter where they live.

This is not a program caught in the political winds anymore. Thirty-six states (including Arkansas) have already expanded Medicaid, many under Republican governors and GOP-controlled legislatures, and none have opted out.

Now is the time for voters to make their own decisions about providing adequate, accessible healthcare coverage to fellow Missourians.

Ray Weter


In praise of Ozarks 'get-er-done' cooperation

To the editor,

Last Monday afternoon we were surprised when a little hail storm in Mtn. View turned out to be possible tornado winds just a few miles south of town in the heavily wooded rural community. We drove out with a chainsaw to see if we could get through to my property deep in the forest.

A mile in from Highway 17, tree after giant tree blocked the road -- and some were weighing down power lines.

We valiantly began working on the first tree and within minutes more and more people appeared, as if by magic, with chainsaws, and in the course of two hours this instant crew cut down eight or 10 gigantic trees and did not stop until the end of County Road 3190 was cleared for travel.

It was an amazing show of Ozarks "get-er-done" cooperation. No one was "in charge," committees weren't formed to decide what to do next. Nobody's political standing or religious affiliation was questioned. No

grumbling was necessary. Just a common attention to a unified goal of getting that road clear in the most efficient way possible. If you had a chainsaw, you cut. If you had gloves, you cleared. Period. Done. A nod and a thank you and a wave good bye.

Before we were even finished, Howell-Oregon and Show-Me power traveled past to the end of the line to start assessing damage and making their own "Get-er-done" plan. Power was out on the entire road, many poles were down and we heard Willow Springs was hit pretty hard as well.

From Monday afternoon, Show-Me and most especially Howell-Oregon relentlessly worked that road, clearing trees, replacing poles and wire, and by Wednesday night we all had power again.

It isn't the first time these competent crews have amazed me and others with their methodical speed. They also never seem impatient with all the questions from the people they so capably serve.

I would just like to say thank you to them, and I hope they know it is very much appreciated out here.

And thank you to my neighbors who make me proud to live here.

See you on the road!

Terry Moore

Mtn. View

Context matters when forming an educated opinion

To the editor:

Context is important when evaluating situations and opinions. Limiting context is often used to confuse, distort and mislead.

The recent opinion piece in the Howell County News by Rik Hafer of the Center for Economics and the Environment Hammond Institute at Lindenwood University is a good example. Readers would have been better served if they were given the following context. It is copied from their website.

“November 30, 2015: Lindenwood University today announced that the Charles Koch Foundation has awarded $2 million in grant funding support for the John W. Hammond Institute for Free Enterprise in the University’s Robert W. Plaster School of Business & Entrepreneurship.

"President Michael D. Shonrock, Ph.D., said the grant is the largest received in Lindenwood history. He said the funds will advance the Hammond Institute’s goals to foster free enterprise and civil and religious liberty through the examination of market-oriented approaches to economic and social issues. '...We are extremely grateful to the Koch Foundation for this grant,' said Ellis. 'We will put it to good use advancing the goals of the Institute.' (emphasis is mine)

To judge Dr. Hafer's opinion you need to know the goals of the Koch Foundation since Dr. Ellis made it clear they are indebted to the Koch Foundation. The Koch Foundation supports libertarian think tanks and academics. It is reasonable to assume Dr. Hafer's opinion piece is written to support libertarian policy positions.

Dr. Hafer writes, “One way to answer that [would we be better off with a nationalized healthcare system] is to see how countries with more extensive government control of the economy and more nationalized health care systems are handling the coronavirus outbreak.”

He does compare various countries and concludes, “The evidence just doesn't support the view that a larger, more intrusive government would solve the ills we confront.” I agree, but it is also true that his evidence does not support the idea that a corporatocracy or a so-called “free market” is better at solving the ills we confront.

If you follow the pandemic news you will see the U.S. is leading the technologically developed countries in not dealing well with cases and deaths. Of course, there are many factors that affect the ability of countries to fight the spread of COVID-19.

When President Trump and corporate leaders both put their own interests and profit before people it is not surprising people suffer. We need an effective government that listens to medical experts when making decisions.

James Vokac

Willow Springs

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