Monday, April 11, 2011

Community Organizations React to Koster's Cowardice

Community Organizations Decry Attorney General Koster’s Brief as More Political Gamesmanship Around Health Care Law

Groups Point Out that Affordable Care Act is Benefitting Tens of Thousands of Missouri Seniors and Families.

Missouri Jobs with Justice, a coalition of more than 100 labor, community, faith and student organizations, expressed disappointment that Missouri’s Attorney General is contributing to the politicization of the Affordable Care Act.

Jobs with Justice and other community groups previously praised Attorney General Koster for staying out of politically-motivated lawsuits, despite pressure from Republican lawmakers urging Koster to sue the federal government.

“Attorney General Koster is late to this game,” said Amy Smoucha, health care organizer with Missouri Jobs with Justice, “and his action can only be seen as joining the political circus.” Smoucha points out that Missouri cannot join the Florida lawsuit because it is on appeal and Koster’s brief will have almost no impact on the case. “These games have high stakes for Missourians,” Smoucha maintains. “While Missourians are more concerned about jobs and while tens of thousands of Missouri seniors, small businesses and families are benefiting from the Affordable Care Act, Attorney General Koster just demonstrated he’s more interested in politics.”

Mary Clemons, a resident of Kirkwood and a senior citizen on Medicare, spoke about the law’s immediate benefits. “People with health insurance pay higher premiums to cover those who have none,” Clemons said. Clemons, who is a member of the group Women’s Voices Raised for Social Justice, also expressed disappointment in Attorney General Koster’s decision to file an amicus brief in the Florida case. “We believe that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is the law of the land and should be upheld and implemented in its entirety. Missouri citizens are already enjoying the benefits of the law, and we support the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act” Clemons stated.

Jobs with Justice cites the immediate benefits of the Affordable Care Act that lawsuits may put in jeopardy, including

  • More than 82,000 senior citizens who are getting help with prescription drugs
  • Nearly 3.3 million residents of Missouri with private insurance coverage who are now protected from lifetime limits placed on how much insurance companies will spend on their health care.
  • 961,000 seniors in Missouri who have Medicare coverage would be forced to pay a co-pay to receive important preventive services, like mammograms and colonoscopies.
  • 118 Employers receiving help from the Early Retiree Reinsurance ProgramThousands of Missourians who now have health insurance coverage because of the ACA provisions for children, young adults and people with pre-existing conditions.

1 comment:

  1. I'm proud that Jobs With Justice and Women's Voices Raised for Social Justice stepped up right away to defend the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. These two fine organizations represent thousands of people across our state. The Attorney General is playing political poker with our health care, and in the end, he'll be left with a losing hand.