On Thursday, state senators held a hearing in St. Louis on whether accepting federal money to create a Missouri health exchange was advisable. At this hearing, unlike the two in Springfield and Kansas City, those in favor of the ACA and health exchanges were allowed to speak. And they did. Advocates of an exchange packed the room, and of the 37 people who testified, 30 favored the creation of a Missouri health exchange.
Mary Clemons of Women’s Voices Raised for Social Justice summed up their sentiments nicely. She allowed as how the senators had had to listen to quite a few health care horror stories, but she said the speakers weren’t looking for sympathy and a pat on the back. They were looking for our legislators to do something about the problems.
Scott Rupp (R-Wentzville) chaired the hearing–graciously. Brad Lager (R-Savannah) and Jane Cunningham (R-Chesterfield) attended. Joe Keaveny was the lone Democratic senator in attendance. Jim Lembke (R-St. Louis) was there, even though he’s not on the committee. Rob Schaaf (R-Buchanan and Platte Counties) and Luann Ridgeway (R-Smithville) participated via a phone link.
Advocates packed the room and dominated the mike. But Obamacare haters also had their say. The video juxtaposes the two sides, with each person who criticizes an exchange followed by someone who answers his objections. I tried, honest, to give you the flavor of the comments from both sides in three minutes or less of video. Couldn’t be done. So watch as little or as much of it as you want. Ed Martin dominates the negative comments at the beginning for the sake of those who aren’t going to watch it all but who want to see that side’s celeb in action.
There are two more videos to come: footage of the Anthem representative speaking in favor of creating an exchange and, for the wonkish among you, the rather lengthy exchanges between the senators and St. Louis University health care researcher, Sidney Watson.