Originally published on Tue October 1, 2013 6:37 am
Thousands of conservatives attended CPAC St. Louis on Saturday to listen to more than 40 conservative leaders and rising stars. There were a number of last-minute speaking cancellations for the conference. Members of the US House had to stay in DC to work on a fix to avoid a partial government shutdown.
Republican Senator Roy Blunt of Missouri also cancelled, saying he was working on a deal even though the Senate wasn’t in session. That decision drew the ire of many conservatives.
Rep. Caleb Rowden (R-Columbia) and Sen. Kurt Schaefer (R-Columbia) heard from four supporters of Medicaid expansion at a legislative wrap-up session in Columbia Tuesday night. A little bit more than half of the one-hour meeting, hosted by the Boone County Pachyderms Club, was spent debating the expansion.
Missouri’s GOP super-majority blocked every Democratic attempt to increase Medicaid eligibility in the state, calling the program an expensive, yet broken system.
Supporters of the expansion said it would help low-income, working adults in Missouri who aren’t eligible for the program, but are too poor to afford their own insurance. Brian Smith of the Missouri Rural Crisis Center attended the meeting. He said when combined with cuts to Medicare provider reimbursements, the lack of Medicaid expansion would disproportionately hurt rural hospitals and might push them to close.
Both the Missouri House and Senate have instituted interim committees that would study ways to reform Medicaid. Rowden said he hopes to be involved in the discussion.
A week after the conservative losses at the polls, about 20 tea partiers gathered at a restaurant in North St. Louis County to listen to a few lecturers talk about a few ideas for the future: the flat tax and the fair tax. And yes, to commiserate about the recent past.
Shunned by Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, Missouri Senate candidate Todd Akin is instead turning to former presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich to help raise his profile and cash in the closing week of his campaign.
Members of Missouri’s GOP say private sector growth and working with Democrats across the political aisle are key focus points for Republican candidates this election year. More than 30 local Republicans gathered at a Columbia Hy-Vee Monday, where discussions at the Boone County Pachyderm Club focused on the state economy.