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Dillon touts support of Medicaid expansion


JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — The Democratic candidate looking to represent Missouri’s 16th Senate District is touting his support for expanding Medicaid as a top priority.

Ryan Dillon — who has previously worked as an aide to former Missouri Congressman Ike Skelton, former Congressman Russ Carnahan, and at the State Department under former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton — is looking to replace term-limited Sen. Dan Brown. He will face Republican candidate Justin Brown, who is Brown’s son, in the November general election.

In his bid the flip a red seat blue, Dillon is touting his support for expanding Medicaid, as allotted under the Affordable Care Act passed by Congress.

“These programs help low-income families, pregnant women, the disabled, and seniors in long-term care. Right here in my district, we have seen Medicaid providers cut services, most recently to OBGYN patients in Rolla,” a campaign email from Dillon stated. “For me, expanding Medicaid is a top priority. It is not only the right thing to do, but also the smart thing to do for Missourians.”

The campaign email notes that Medicaid — and Medicare — have provided a reliable healthcare option for more than five decades and that by not expanding the program, the state is leaving millions of federal funding on the table.

The funding the state is rejecting would help grow the economy and keep rural hospitals from closing, the email states. A recently released report by the Government Accountability Office listed the lack of Medicaid expansion as a factor in the financial stability of rural hospitals.

“In the Missouri Senate, I will work to sustain and expand the decades-old promise we’ve made to working Missourians who depend on Medicare and Medicaid,” Dillon wrote. “As someone who lives with a preexisting condition, I understand the challenges of our healthcare system and the daily struggles of our friends and neighbors. That must change and when I am in the Missouri State Senate, it will change.”