Editorial Roundup: Missouri

Kansas Town Superstar. August 24, 2023.

Editorial: Want lend a hand with Medicaid or youngsters’ insurance coverage in Missouri? You’ll wait on dangle

Right here’s a certain signal of unhealthy customer support: Lengthy dangle occasions.

We’ve all been there. You name up a hotline for an organization or govt company to unravel the most important downside, handiest no person can take your name straight away. So that you take a seat and wait — thru terrible song and low assurances that “your name is essential to us,” hoping and looking forward to a real human to return at the line.

Is there anything else extra irritating?

Political Cartoons

Perhaps now not in Missouri, and in no way for Medicaid candidates. The state simply may simply be the reigning grand champion of horrible carrier for its maximum susceptible citizens.

Previous this month, the government issued warnings to 16 states — together with Missouri and Kansas — for exceptionally lengthy wait occasions on the name facilities that lend a hand citizens entire packages and renewals for Medicaid and the Kids’s Well being Insurance coverage Program.

Missouri reportedly had the very worst wait occasions of any state — an average of 48 minutes per call within the month of Would possibly. That’s see you later that 44% of callers merely gave up reasonably than see the decision thru to its of completion.

Missouri officers say revised and resubmitted information from the state’s name facilities display a mean wait time of an insignificant 28 mins in line with name in Would possibly. That’s nonetheless relatively upper than the 25 minutes-per-call reasonable within the states that won warnings. Since then, officers say they’ve controlled to get wait occasions below 20 mins — however even this is stratospherically upper than the three-minute reasonable wait time in states that won no caution in any respect from the feds.

“We’ve nonetheless were given paintings to do,” said Robert Knodell, director of the Missouri Division of Social Services and products.

The caution to Missouri and Kansas comes as state-run Medicaid plans are in a post-pandemic paring down in their affected person rolls. Beneficiaries typically renew their packages for assist annually. After COVID-19 compelled the rustic into lockdown, alternatively, the federal government suspended that requirement during the pandemic emergency. That grace duration ended this spring.

The issue is that numerous other people — together with many that almost certainly are eligible for persisted Medicaid help — aren’t renewing their paperwork, incessantly for causes that will not be of their regulate. An estimated 45,000 Kansans, two-thirds of them youngsters, have lately had their advantages terminated for “procedural causes.” In Missouri, kind of 32,000 folks had been kicked off Medicaid in June, part of them youngsters.

State name facilities are meant to be a crucial hyperlink for the folk looking to stay the ones advantages. However that’s now not how it’s understanding in Kansas and Missouri.

Missouri merits particular scrutiny, even though.

It was once simply closing month, in spite of everything, that the state said it gained’t take part in some other federal program — person who would have provided summer meals to Missouri’s hungry kids who had participated within the loose or lowered lunch methods at their faculties throughout the 2022-23 faculty 12 months. 40 states participated in this system this 12 months. Missouri didn’t. Officers stated they just didn’t have the infrastructure in position to make the plan paintings this summer time.

Put in combination, the Medicaid and summer time meal stumbles make it affordable to wonder if the GOP-led govt in Jefferson Town is in a position to do the fundamental paintings of offering services and products to the fewer well-off contributors of the general public — or whether or not the ones efforts are merely now not a concern.

“It’s no secret our programs were under-invested in for a very long time,” Knodell stated.

He stated his company is pushing to reinforce its responses to Medicaid inquiries with a brand new “blitz” machine that redirects sources to lend a hand the decision facilities. And he stated Missourians may bypass the decision facilities by means of logging on to mydss.mo.gov/renew (Kansans can pass to kancare.ks.gov to lend a hand transfer their renewals alongside.)

That’s a get started. However it’s time for each Kansas and Missouri to do higher. In terms of Medicaid, lengthy dangle occasions aren’t simply irritating or an issue of insufficient customer support — they’re a risk to the well being and well-being of our neighbors.

St. Louis Put up-Dispatch. August 28, 2023.

Editorial: With expanding normalization of marijuana, pot-lounge proposal is sensible

There are a wide variety of causes to be fearful about proposals to permit pot-smoking lounges in St. Louis: rowdy clientele, offended neighbors, impaired using. And, in fact, the threat of a societal stamp of approval on an addictive-substance addiction.

However there’s one giant reason why to set the ones apprehensions apart and provides severe attention to the proposals now being aired in Town Corridor: Each a type of issues may practice, unaltered, to institutions these days approved by means of St. Louis to serve alcoholic drinks. Those institutions — often referred to as “bars” — function during the town, as they’ve thru maximum of its historical past, serving a product this is demonstrably extra bad than marijuana.

The talk over whether or not to permit prison use of pot is over. Many of the nation has legalized it in a single shape or some other. Its persisted classification by means of the government as a Agenda 1 contraband drug, along heroin and LSD, is well known as a prison anachronism preserved by means of Washington’s political paralysis and not anything extra.

That’s to not say legalized pot doesn’t deliver with it its personal possible societal prices. It’s simple to think about numerous prison and societal tendencies that may were fitter for each folks and society than this one.

However that isn’t the purpose. If American tradition has made up our minds that adults will have to be allowed to make a decision for themselves whether or not to interact in unproductive and even dangerous conduct — and the legality of alcohol and cigarettes has definitively settled that query — then it is senseless to proceed hard restrictions on a substance that hasn’t been proven to be as bad as both of the ones.

Because the Put up-Dispatch’s Austin Huguelet reports, best St. Louis officers are exploring the additional normalization of pot by means of ultimately permitting the status quo of pot lounges like those who famously function in Amsterdam. Just a few American places — Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Colorado — have begun to permit such institutions. Which means St. Louis can be at the vanguard of what might be the following giant factor in city leisure districts.

There are some hurdles, starting with state regulations that don’t permit marijuana to be ate up on the dispensaries the place it’s bought. That’s now not essentially an insurmountable downside. The Republicans who regulate Missouri state govt nonetheless declare to be fanatics of loose undertaking, so possibly new regulations might be installed position. If now not, there are possible work-arounds, like siting the lounges inside of pickup vary of the dispensaries. Marketers are excellent at arising with ingenious answers to issues like those.

Board of Aldermen President Megan Inexperienced and others exploring the plan also are taking a look at clean-air issues — even though current cigar lounges would appear to supply a promising template for a way enclosed and regulated indoor house for smoking can theoretically cut back its occurrence in different places.

St. Louis officers will have to tread sparsely right here. American towns’ enjoy with this concept is simply too new to evaluate whether or not the advantages are well worth the prices. Amsterdam, it should be famous, is beginning to prohibit world “sin tourism” — which incorporates (even though isn’t restricted to) its pot-friendly espresso properties — as it’s more and more considered as now not well worth the societal issues it brings.

Weighed towards the ones official issues is the obvious benefit to the theory: St. Louis may squeeze extra tax income from a type of sport that, adore it or now not, is right here to stick. Town law may stay the companies out of residential neighborhoods and make sure they’re working responsibly.

And those specific companies may turn into tourism attracts, particularly whilst they continue to be uncommon in maximum of The united states. Bluntly put, St. Louis’ want for recent financial task at this time precludes being too picky about what shape it takes.

Jefferson Town Information Tribune. August 27, 2023.

Editorial: Perhaps our kids can educate us a lesson

Put issues again the place you discovered them.

Don’t take issues that aren’t yours.

Say you’re sorry whilst you harm someone.

Heat cookies and chilly milk are excellent for you.

Those seven easy statements had been a part of the wealth of data American minister and creator Robert Fulghum shared in his 1986 bestseller “All I In reality Want to Know I Realized in Kindergarten.”

His essays on existence resonated deeply with readers who found out how common insights can incessantly be present in abnormal occasions.

Fulghum’s axioms sound eerily very similar to a collection of requirements Missouri educators are drafting for our kids in hopes that the ones “cushy talents” can get advantages the kid during his or her existence.

The factors transcend educational competencies; they aim “cushy talents” comparable to regulating one’s personal feelings, and finding out to cooperate and collaborate with others.

The proposed requirements had been offered to the state board of schooling and are to be had for public remark till Sept. 15. At the moment, they might be reviewed and probably revised. A piece workforce would then resolve one of the simplest ways to enforce the criteria.

Some may say it’s now not the activity of faculties to supply those cushy talents.

However let’s face it; faculties are coping with the fallout from declining pupil conduct. And incessantly occasions, behavioral problems obstruct the educator’s talent to show the disruptive pupil and the ones round her or him.

Christi Bergin, a developmental psychologist, stated there was rising fear about pupil conduct because the Nineteen Seventies.

“The pandemic sped up that fear, however it isn’t new, and it’s not really to depart because the pandemic recedes as it’s now not new,” she stated.

And let’s be fair, the absence of the ones “cushy talents” — being cooperative, collaborative, respectful, type and devoted — are all too glaring in our society as of late.

If we are hoping to opposite that pattern, possibly our best possible hope lies with our kids.

And admittedly, the criteria being proposed by means of the paintings team is also the precise method.

They’re break up into 3 spaces:

“Me” requirements are aimed at scholars regulating their feelings and taking responsibility for his or her movements.

“We” requirements are about relationship-building and collaboration.

“Others” requirements relate to empathy, compassion and figuring out how conduct affects other folks.

The target of the criteria is to include them into the day by day regimen of the scholars, whilst permitting the instructor to keep up a correspondence their expectancies to create “teachable moments” on conduct.

As our kids be told those new talents, possibly we will be able to emulate them.

At a time after we are apparently extra divided, suspicious and segregated as a society, possibly those requirements can spur us to be extra collaborative, empathetic and trusting.

And if we be told the lesson properly, possibly there’s some cookies and milk in our long term.

Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This subject matter will not be printed, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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