For Immediate Release:
May 6, 2013

(573) 751 - 4415
State Sen. Jamilah Nasheed: "It's Not Too Late For Medicaid!"

JEFFERSON CITY — Last week in the Missouri Senate, my legislation proposing an expansion of current Medicaid regulations to cover all Missourians continued to languish in the Senate Veterans’ Affairs and Health Committee. I am still awaiting a vote passing Senate Bill 131 to the Senate floor for possible debate.

However, I’m not going to meekly accept the current legislative stall that has been imposed upon the idea of Medicaid expansion by members of the majority caucus.

I want to make certain that Missourians understand that now is the time to unequivocally make their voices heard. Expanding the right to Medicaid to include every resident of this great state is an action that, to me, falls under every citizen’s civil rights. We are 59 years past the Brown v. Board of Education decision.  We are 52 years past the ‘freedom riders.’ Shouldn’t we all be equal in the eyes of healthcare, as well?

I would like ask the residents of the Show-Me State to pull together under this cause. Make your voices heard. Bring your concerns to the State Capitol, to your elected lawmakers, and make your presence known. There are legislators that would like you to believe that expanding Medicaid is going to cost this state millions of dollars, that we can’t trust our government to fulfill its promise of replacing the multiple years of 100 percent funding we have been promised, and the 90 percent payback after the first three years when this legislation becomes the law of the land. To them I say, if you don’t trust the government, there is something in you not worth trusting.

The opportunities offered to Missouri by expanding Medicaid are too great to ignore. Not only will every Missourian have the right to available health care, but we need more members of all medical fields in order to provide care for people who will finally be able to seek attention for their health care needs. Medical facilities will have an influx of work, and therefore available dollars for necessary items, including renovations. Smaller, local hospitals will be able to keep doors open and employees will be able to keep their jobs.

Ladies and gentlemen, my fellow Missourians, I encourage you to take a stand for the future here and now. This legislation is one of the most critical of this session. The General Assembly still has two weeks to debate and pass this measure that would benefit each and every person in this state. We have followed blindly along for long enough. Now is the time to ensure that our friends and neighbors will all have the same opportunity for health care. No one is any less than another, and health care in Missouri should reflect that fact. Friends, if you listen closely, you can hear the trumpets sound. The walls of Jericho are, in fact, slowly crumbling. Keep marching, though the climb is difficult. Together, and with your help and belief, we can make Missouri a safe place, a healthy place for everyone living within her state lines. Join me in these last few legislative weeks in raising our voices to call for this necessary change. Let’s not make Missouri a monument to the past, but a beacon of light for the future!