In a report to constituents, Rep. Jason Kander, D-Kansas City, reviewed the healthcare battle his side recently lost in the Missouri House describing it as "the most depressing day I have had in Jefferson City."
A fight over restoring health care coverage to 35,000 Missourians at no cost to state taxpayers was unfortunately won by House Republicans (who have a slim majority in the House). Barb Shelly wrote a great column about it in The Kansas City Star. The partial restoration of the 2005 cuts was a compromise proposed by Governor Nixon and supported by Senate Republicans, Democrats in both chambers, traditionally Republican business groups and the Missouri Hospitals Association. Here's a video report about the Health Care debate.
Without increasing taxes on a single Missourian, the plan would have relied on a voluntary increase in the taxes paid by hospitals.
In debate on the floor, Democrats emphasized the facts of the proposal and the benefits it offered Missourians. Here's a one minute excerpt of a great speech during the debate by Rep. Jake Zimmerman (D-Olivette). Emotions ran high and it sounded like the House of Commons. For an example, listen to this exchange between Democratic Rep. Mike Talboy and Republican Rep. Bryan Pratt (you can hear the reaction when Talboy calls Pratt "unchristian.")
Republicans repeatedly referred to health care for poor working parents as "welfare." A single mother with four kids who works full-time and earns $11,025/year would have received health care under this proposal - right now she's only eligible if her salary is around $6,000/year.
Every Democrat voted for the plan. We were joined by four moderate Republicans - including my friend Rep. Ryan Silvey of Clay County. However, the proposal did just barely fail. It was, by far, the most depressing day I've had in Jefferson City.