Health care has emerged as a major issue in southern Missouri’s Eighth Congressional district race between GOP Congressman Jason Smith and his Democratic challenger Kathy Ellis. Congressman Smith says his priority is to represent his constituents, including the health care issue.
The district has seen five hospital closings since 2016, impacting towns such as Farmington, Kennett, and Poplar Bluff. Ellis supports Medicaid expansion and says federally qualified health centers must be expanded in southeast Missouri, while Smith says Medicaid expansion is a state issue. The 8th district includes 30 southern Missouri counties and 20-thousand square miles.