Post-Dispatch: Obamacare brings real jobs to really red states
The following editorial appeared Thursday in The St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
The moment the Republican obfuscators of Obamacare feared has come to pass.
On Tuesday, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch's Tim Logan reported that a Virginia-based company is bringing to Wentzville, Mo., one of three national call centers to handle health insurance applications under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, dubbed derisively by the GOP as Obamacare.
Serco Inc., a private company that contracts with the federal government, is bringing 600 jobs to a legislative and congressional district that is redder than red.
That's 600 jobs, with benefits, to the 3rd Congressional District of Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer, a Republican who brags on his website that he's voted to defund Obamacare 37 times.
Thirty-seven votes against the local economy, against that one holier-than-holy word that has dominated each of the last several election cycles: J.O.B.S. Jobs, jobs, jobs.
Those 600 jobs are also in the hometown and state Senate district of Republican Scott Rupp, who proudly brags of his co-sponsorship of two statewide referendums in which Missourians expressed their dissatisfaction with President Barack Obama's plan to increase the number of Americans who have insurance and pump billions of dollars into the nation's health care economy.
Six hundred jobs, Mr. Rupp.
So tell us. How will you vote when the Missouri legislature returns in January and a statewide coalition of health care, education and business professionals once again pushes for the state to expand Medicaid coverage as called for in the very federal act that is now pumping millions of dollars into your local economy?
Remember when the University of Missouri released a study last year saying that the billions of federal dollars that would come with Medicaid expansion would create thousands of jobs in the Show-Me State, and Republicans shoved it aside as so much hooey?
Six hundred real jobs in Wentzville say it's not an academic exercise anymore.
The now hyphen-free folks over at FleishmanHillard public relations firm in downtown St. Louis won a $35 million contract to help promote the health exchanges that the state of Illinois set up. Illinois did not default to the federal government, which is what Missouri Republicans decided to do, thus turning away both federal money and, yes, more jobs.
And don't forget 1,500 jobs being added by Express Scripts in north St. Louis County, many of which are surely tied to the fact that millions more Americans will have health insurance that will pay for their prescription drugs.
At least the locals get it.
Here's Tony Matthews, president of the Western St. Charles County Chamber of Commerce, talking about the 600 new jobs in his community:
"That's people shopping and dining in our community. The economic impact will just be fantastic."
This is the day Republicans feared.
Obamacare is producing real benefits in their districts, offering tangible hope to people wanting a taste of the economic recovery, and the national GOP is still debating whether to shut down the entire government just because they refuse to accept the fact that they lost.