We’re dismayed that the governor’s speech said nothing about a population that is forgotten about more than just about any other: seniors.
Prior to Wednesday night’s bombshell that Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens allegedly blackmailed a woman to keep an extramarital affair quiet, he actually delivered the State of the State address, which outlined his first year as governor and unveiled plans for the coming year.
Greitens hit on a lot of talking points that make for good quotes — talking about jobs, about putting aside political disagreements for the betterment of Missourians, about fighting for children.
Of particular interest during the governor’s speech was his impassioned rhetoric involving the voiceless, the forgotten in the Show-Me State.
“I was sent here, and I believe that many of you were sent here, not to work for the connected or the comfortable, but for those who have felt counted out and forgotten...” the governor said. “To those Missourians, I have a simple message: We have been and we will fight for you every single day.”
The soundbite-worthy quote, though, falls flat, at least in Northeast Missouri where hundreds of seniors have had to make tough choices regarding their medication. In 2017, the government cut back on the Missouri Rx Program, which assists fixed-income seniors in paying for costly prescription medication. 64,000 Missourians got two weeks notice that the program would cease for them.
An already forgotten population became a little more forgotten. Many have had to cut out medications, or make other decisions between medicine and food.
We’re dismayed that the governor’s speech said nothing about a population that is forgotten about more than just about any other: seniors. As the legislative session moves forward, we’re hopeful, but not entirely optimistic, that action will match rhetoric and the unfair cuts to a vital program for tens of thousands of Missourians will again be restored.
“It is a tough blow to many of them,” said Lou Lemen of the Monroe City Senior Nutrition Center when the Courier-Post and Salt River Journal first reported on the cuts to the program. While the governor speaks in attractive platitudes, cuts to Missouri RX continues to be a blow for many of Missouri’s forgotten seniors.