Editor’s note: This letter was sent to state Rep. Cody Smith, R-Carthage, and a copy provided to The Joplin Globe.

Dear Rep. Smith,

It was discouraging to read your column in this morning’s Kansas City Star (July 29) stating that Amendment 2 to the Missouri Constitution should not be approved. Your reason? The people of Missouri can’t afford it.

But the state can afford to provide health care to the able bodied and infirmed. Of course, it might require an income tax increase — or maybe not. The point is that in today’s low-wage business climate, families making one and one-third of the poverty level cannot afford health insurance, or even other essential things. Almost everyone — and I assume you also — knows this.

You threaten the voters with the need to cut school funding if they approve the amendment. Don’t you think that the people in Missouri are tired of hearing this? The legislature has already crippled our education system. Will the majority of our representatives really inflict more damage to our schools if the majority of voters on Tuesday decide that it is important to take care of the medical needs of the less fortunate among us?

Keith Evans

St. Joseph