Missouri State Representative Paul Wieland (R-Imperial) recently filed a federal lawsuit suit asking the court to declare the mandate for contraception coverage in Obamacare unconstitutional. More specifically, he’s looking for a personal exemption for his family (the fact that Wieland is a man, who would probably find little use for birth control, is apparently beside the point). Either he missed the news that a federal judge struck down the Missouri law exempting moral objectors from mandatory birth control coverage earlier this year, or he needs to readjust his priorities.
This isn’t the only thing he seems to be misguided on: his lack of support for Medicaid expansion in Missouri points to Rep. Wieland’s need to get his priorities back on track.
In Jefferson County, 9,929 of Rep. Wieland’s constituents would gain access to health insurance through Medicaid expansion. According to the Missouri Medicaid Coalition, Medicaid expansion will decrease the burden on Jefferson County emergency rooms, and local hospitals would no longer face dire financial consequences resulting from nearly $400 million in lost Missouri hospital funding. And Jefferson County residents could look forward to new jobs in the region, part of the 24,000 additional jobs in Missouri estimated to result from Medicaid expansion.
Rather than pander to special interest groups opposed to birth control, Rep. Wieland needs to focus on what’s best for Jefferson County.
Missouri is the Show-Me State and we want Rep. Wieland to show us he actually cares about his community by dropping his political attack on the birth control mandate and supporting the effort to expand access to health care through Medicaid.
If you are a Missouri resident, take action now and demand that the Missouri legislature expand Medicaid in 2014!