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Hannibal Courier - Post - Hannibal, MO
  • Medicaid expansion gains more local support

  • Even as Gov. Jay Nixon continues to crisscross Missouri seeking support for his plan to strengthen Medicaid in the state, another local entity has announced its support of the endeavor.
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  • Even as Gov. Jay Nixon continues to crisscross Missouri seeking support for his plan to strengthen Medicaid in the state, another local entity has announced its support of the endeavor.
    The Northeast Missouri Economic Development Council Board of Directors has announced it is supporting efforts to expand Medicaid.
    "This program is economically beneficial to our medical industry in Northeast Missouri, employers, the working poor, and brings Missouri tax dollars back to our state" said George Walley, executive director of the local economic development organization, in an e-mailed statement. "Our first class regional medical services providers have invested heavily in the latest technology, professional staff and modern facilities. Our citizenry has donated countless hours and money to help build the medical services network we enjoy in our region which truly is a measure of our quality of life. We acknowledge the challenging times we face nationally on the issue of entitlements and deficits. However, we cannot sit idly by and watch what we have built spiral backward. Additionally, the current lack of mental health services and options in the entire Northeast region of our state is becoming critical and wastes the already limited resources of our dedicated law enforcement professionals and leaves our communities with no solutions and with less security.
    "We have a duty to preserve, enhance and otherwise protect these jobs and services which affect our quality of life until such a time that we the people our nation find a better solution."
    In contrast to the economic development council, which voted to support the governor's proposed expansion of Medicaid in the state, the Hannibal Area Chamber of Commerce recently voted to support Medicaid expansion without supporting a specific plan offered by either Democrats or Republicans.
    "We want to promote whatever is best for Hannibal Regional Hospital," said Paul Ewert, president-elect of the Hannibal chamber, earlier this week.
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