Happy Democrat Photo: Missouri State Sen. Victor Callahan

There’s hope for my best friend’s home state yet:

When lawmakers in Jefferson City decided to drop health coverage for 90,000 poor people, state Sen. Victor Callahan decided there was only one thing to do.

Drop his own.

Last week, in an unusual protest for an elected official, Callahan filled out a form to voluntarily drop his coverage. He has no other coverage.

Callahan, 39 and single without children, has vowed that he will not resume his coverage until those 90,000 Missourians have their coverage restored.

He knows that could be years.

“I just feel a moral responsibility,” said Callahan, an Independence Democrat. “This is my view of being part of public life. We’re all in this together. We go up or down together.”

It’s a risk, he admits. “But it’s not as risky as people on Medicaid who have an existing health-care problem.”

Is it a stunt? Sure. But it does illustrate the reason why things like this happen. Lawmakers aren’t the ones who have their insurance at risk. They’ll never have to think about what it might be like to be one of Missouri’s 90,000 newly uninsured. So it’s easy for them to make these cuts. Poor people don’t vote anyway. Missouri’s lawmakers are not the ones with their asses in the fire.

Callahan, simply and eloquently, points that out.

Kudos to him.


ETA: You can e-mail him here.