In response to Jeremy Cady’s column (Globe, May 1), I would say Missouri cannot afford not to fund Medicaid expansion.
One of the first things we’re taught in any research writing course is to consider the source of our information. Cady is the state director of Americans for Prosperity-Missouri, which is the Missouri chapter of a right-wing think tank founded by the infamous Koch brothers to promote their agenda to lead to their own prosperity and that of the top 1%, not prosperity for regular middle-class and working-class Americans who make up the majority of the United States.
The Koch brothers contributed greatly to the divisiveness in our politics (divide and conquer), yet Charles Koch, the remaining living brother, admitted that they got it all wrong in fueling partisanship, as reported in The Wall Street Journal.
However, their think tank lives on, touting their policies to benefit only the uppermost of the U.S. financial heap — policies that further divide the country.
Cady is quite adept at misusing statistics and tossing in unattributed “studies” to make his point. And a baked-in problem to projecting Medicaid costs is just that: Projections can never be anything except estimates. We can play the statistics game all day and never resolve anything.
So let’s set numbers aside and look at facts. It is a fact that 38 states (plus Washington, D.C.) have chosen to expand Medicaid. The 12 states that haven’t are all Republican states. Even though it’s in a state’s best interest to expand Medicaid, GOP states are blindly following the GOP line that Medicaid expansion will cost a state money, which simply isn’t true. For example, Virginia saved more than $420 million by expanding Medicaid, which the state was able to allocate to other priorities such as education. Louisiana saved more than $103 million on Medicaid expansion in fiscal year 2017, in addition to saving an additional $199 million through the higher federal match rate for services the state was already funding.
Every state that has expanded Medicaid has seen similar savings, according to the Missouri Budget Project.
If we’re talking projections, contrary to Cady’s assertions, Missouri is slated to experience a major economic boost as a result of Medicaid expansion. According to a report from Regional Economics Models Inc., Missouri is expected to see an increase of more than 16,000 new jobs each year as a result of Medicaid expansion.
These jobs are not just in the health care sector but will reverberate throughout the economy, creating jobs and economic activity in sectors such as retail and construction as well. The REMI report projects a $2.5 billion increase in economic output in Missouri, a $1.6 billion increase in GDP and a $1.1 billion increase in personal income.
Partisanship and division are destroying our country, and even Charles Koch has admitted that fueling the partisan divide has been a huge mistake. Cady fans the flames of divisiveness with his half-truths and misrepresented data, but Missouri voters rose above partisanship and based their Amendment 2 vote on the fact that Medicaid expansion will benefit Missouri, its businesses and everyone in the state.
Do your homework. Pay attention to facts. Don’t let Cady’s propaganda contribute to the further decline of Missouri. We need Medicaid expansion, and Missouri voted “yes.” Now state officials need to do their jobs and carry out the will of the people to fund Medicaid expansion.