The six speakers representing the City of Columbia — including Mayor Bob McDavid — all shot a very clear set of data-backed messages to state legislators. But even with a multitude of statistics, one main point reigned above all others.
"So it's disingenuous for some legislators to say that we can't afford to expand Medicaid, just as it's disingenuous to say that Medicaid is broken," Fourth Ward City Council Member Ian Thomas said.
To Martha Stevens, Community Organizer with the Missouri Rural Crisis Center, that disingenuous attitude represents a conceptual struggle between lawmakers and the public.
"The main issue seems to be one of ideology," Stevens said. "It's economically, the smart thing to do. Morally, it's definitely the right thing to do to help people in our communities. And so, it's pretty frustrating that all the facts are there, and the elected officials are not really stepping up to the plate.
Although the press conference boasted impressive attendance from groups such as the Missouri Rural Crisis Center, there were no legislators in attendance to hear the message. McDavid insisted that the press would act as the conduit to reaching said legislators.