Health-services act veto ‘unconscionable’

Dear Editor:

When Gov. Nixon vetoed the Volunteer Health Services Act in July, he denied quality health care to some of the state’s most vulnerable and underserved residents. The VHSA would’ve allowed out-of-state medical workers to offer services to Missouri’s poor, free of charge and undue government interference.
The state has stopped licensed medical workers from helping Missourians before. In 2011, a medical mission to Joplin couldn’t distribute free eyeglasses after the tornado because the law wouldn’t permit a clinic without a licensed Missouri optometrist. Unable to find one to help, the organization’s mobile eyeglass lab was forced to go home.
That our state would rebuff the charity of qualified medical personnel goes against our sense of decency. The state should not stand in the way of quality health care for the poor that is rendered free of charge. That the governor would actively block the reformation of this broken legal framework is unconscionable. Let’s hope the legislature overrides him.

– Patrick Ishmael

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