Journal Express, Knoxville, IA

Opinion

February 7, 2013

Another View

Helping Our Governor Think

(Continued)

Knoxville —

Mr. Governor, this Medicaid expansion may be most important for mental health.   Why?  Many who could then receive treatment have mental health issues – the source of major public safety (think guns) and drug enforcement issues.  Iowa currently has one of the worst mental health care systems in the US.  We desperately need Medicaid help to give more young Iowans the chance to live happy lives.    

Governor, if we turn away the $30,000,000, it doesn’t save federal dollars, the money just goes to another, smarter state.  You say you’re concerned that the Feds can’t keep up this payment, but that hasn’t kept you from seeking federal help with highways, food stamps, or flood relief.  And 48 prominent Iowa organizations – from the Iowa Hospital Association to the Cancer Society to AARP – came to the State House pleading for this Medicaid expansion.  Now, Governor Kasich of Ohio has switched to Medicaid expansion, too.

Mr. Branstad, the biggest reason why turning away Medicaid makes no sense is this:  I’ll bet you aspire to the Golden Rule.  You probably believe as I do that we need to help our neighbor as we would like our neighbor to help us.  When my brother loses his job and his health insurance, I alone cannot make up the difference.  But together we could.  Please, Mr. Governor, have the courage to change your mind and join us to help our sisters and brothers.  That will be healthy for all of us.

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