Letters to the editor: Sept. 18, 2013

Raising the minimum wage

Jewish Labor Committee president Stuart Appelbaum is too modest (Sept. 11 commentary, “Join campaign to raise federal minimum wage”).  The federal minimum wage should be raised to $20 per hour.  I pay my cleaning person that rate, which is competitive in today’s market.

He is fully occupied and can accept no new clients.  His wage is paid voluntarily without legislative sanction. It is a real base wage as a cleaning job requires no special training or experience beyond what anyone learns just growing up.

If it were legislated it would raise the wages of Appelbaum’s 30 million workers by several times his $32.6 billion and create a net gain of several times his 140,000 new jobs.


It would immediately make this country prosperous and wealthy again.

 A. E. Lippman, Creve Coeur

Full Medicaid expansion in Missouri

Medicaid should be expanded in Missouri for low-income workers making up to 138 percent of the Federal Poverty Level for several reasons, as discussed at www.momedicaidcoalition.org/invest.

One of the broadest coalitions ever of business, faith, insurance industry, and economic organizations has formally expressed their support for full Medicaid Expansion. Yet, islands of resistance still remain. Most opposition to full Medicaid expansion offers no positive alternative.  

Missouri should and can be the example to other states how one can transform and reform Medicaid at the same time as expanding it. Proud Missourians, who always pull themselves up by the bootstraps, are suffering.  They are our farmers, our neighbors, our friends.   

The government can and does help in this situation.  Expanding Medicaid fully will allow more assistance.  It’s not a crime.  It’s not going to make the country or Missouri bankrupt.  It’s the correct thing to do.

I can’t think of any family — whatever their political background — that’s going to let a loved one remain ill in order to “balance the federal budget”.   

Many citizens utilize rural hospitals.  Expanding Medicaid will help keep these hospitals open, as explained in the Channel 9 January 28, 2013 show found at http://goo.gl/4XMRlc.

Let’s work to resolve the problem rather than delay implementation.  Let the better angels of our heart act in concert with our Midwestern values and common sense and demonstrate why Missouri is truly the Show Me state by expanding Medicaid now.

Douglas A. Freeman, Chesterfield