To the editor:
June is National Cancer Survivor Month.
I was diagnosed with breast cancer after my annual mammogram. My life changed forever that day in October 2018. But, I am one of the lucky ones and in remission.
My story of survival is possible in great part to the fact that I had health care coverage and access to the care I needed, when I needed it. For many Missourians, however, health insurance is out of their reach. It shouldn’t be that way. And more importantly, it could be different.
Last August, Missouri voters showed their support to expand Medicaid. Unfortunately, some state legislators have ignored our will and have prioritized political posturing rather than our health.
Right now, we have the chance to help 275,000 hard-working Missourians gain access to comprehensive, affordable health care by implementing Medicaid expansion while Missouri receives an additional $1.15 billion in federal funding, which would pay for expansion for years to come.
I ask our elected officials to follow through on the will of the voters and move forward with Medicaid expansion.
Having access to care could make the difference between life and death to the 37,000 Missourians who will face a cancer diagnosis just this year.
Beth L. Schartner
American Cancer Society volunteer
Editor’s note: Ms. Schartner is married to Mehlville Board of Education President Kevin Schartner.