Missouri is ranked 50th among the states in funding for public health, spending about one third of the national average. Audrain County spends even less, just $7.90 per person. In this weekly Health & Wealth update, voters in Audrain went to the polls yesterday and approved a new property tax that will keep the county's struggling health department afloat. I spoke with reporter Garrett Bergquist, who has been driving around Audrain talking to voters.
Politicians aren't the only ones taking aim at farm subsidies these days. Some public health groups and foodies say subsidies drive overproduction of corn and soybeans. And that, they say, enables the production of cheap fast food.
Last week Word Missouri told the story of a group of bookstores in St. Louis supporting each other through events like bookstore tours and literary speed dating. These events aren’t only good for booksellers – they also benefit local authors who write in niche genres and don’t have the support of an academic setting or a big-name publisher. Fortunately, the realm of social media is good to genre writers.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced Monday that it’s changing its short-term approach to managing water levels on the Missouri River, following devastating flooding this summer in Missouri, Iowa and North Dakota.
Republican lawmakers in red states are in a pickle. The Affordable Care Act requires each state to set up a health care exchange designed to bring down insurance costs for consumers. Republicans want no part of anything related to Obama's health care reform law, which they see as a federal intrusion on states rights. But if state lawmakers don't set up an exchange, the federal government will. In September, Republican senators in Missouri prevented the state from accepting $21 million of federal money to lay the groundwork for an exchange. Next door, the Sunflower State is in a similar quandary, reports Bryan Thompson of Kansas Public Radio.