Representative Leutkemeyer Discusses Health Care

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COLUMBIA - U.S. Congressman Blaine Luetkemeyer toured the new tower addition to Boone Hospital Center Monday to see the new improvements and to speak about health care issues.

Boone Hospital Center's new tower includes new patient rooms with advancements in doctor and patient equipment. The hospital hopes changes to everything from nurse-call devices to toilets and furniture for hospital visitors allow patients and their families to have a more comfortable stay.

Luetkemeyer said the tour is only one way for him to touch base with the community and to get a better idea of Missourians' views on issues. He also took the opportunity to discuss community concerns about and surrounding health care.

"[Health care is] obviously reimbursement rates for doctors and hospitals," Leutkemeyer said. "They're getting squeezed and as a result that affects the access to care to all of our seniors and all of those folks who are taken care of by any federal program."

The congressman also discussed his hope to push for reform for Medicare and Medicaid. He said reform for the programs will ensure better coverage for Missourians who need the help.

 "We need to do more," said Leutkemeyer. "Change the rules, change the way care's provided."

However, Missourians like Bill Easley, are not in favor of changes to health care.

Easley is a veteran who benefits from government-assisted medical care programs. He said he benefits from programs like Medicare and Medicaid, as they are now.

"I think they should just leave the health care alone," said Easley.

According to the United Health Foundation, Missouri ranks fourty-fifth in public funding, with an alottment of 45 dollars per person for health coverage.