Thursday, December 18, 2014

Schaaf Shakes Fist At Medicaid Expansion

Last night on Facebook, Sen. Rob Schaaf copied and pasted an email from new Missouri Hospital Association lobbyist Rob Monsees, and then followed up on Twitter declaring, “Let me be crystal clear: We won't be expanding Medicaid.”

 

The Facebook post

Just received the following email, copied to me. I present it without comment:

From: Rob Monsees <RMonsees@mhanet.com>

Date: December 17, 2014 at 5:27:31 PM CST

Cc: Rob Monsees <RMonsees@mhanet.com>, Jean Kempker <JKempker@mhanet.com>, "'bcossette@mo-pca.org'" <bcossette@mo-pca.org>

Subject: Follow up to Senator Silvey meeting

Team Medicaid Expansion,

We wanted to follow up on Senator Silvey's request during our strategy meeting yesterday. He specifically asked all of us to branch out and communicate with members of the House of Representatives in a systematic way. The goal is for each of us to take 5 State Reps and gauge their level of support or opposition to Medicaid Expansion at present and to get the following message out there:

· Why can't we have a discussion about Medicaid expansion?

· Conservative governors in Tennessee, Alabama, Utah, and Wyoming have stepped forward in the last couple months working on fixing Obamacare in their states with funding through reforming Medicaid.

· Conservative Republican legislatures in Arkansas, Arizona, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and North Dakota have all approved Medicaid reforms funded by Medicaid expansion.

· Why would conservatives in those states do this? One big reason is the coverage gap. In states that don't provide Medicaid or private insurance coverage up to 138% of the federal poverty level (FPL), there is actually a very strong disincentive to work if someone in your family has a health concern. (Missouri only covers adults up to 19% of FPL).

· 2 rural hospitals in Missouri have closed in the last six months (Sac-Osage Hospital in Osceola and the Missouri Rehabilitation Center hospital in Mount Vernon) and more are under severe financial pressure - laying off people and shutting down important services.

So please respond to this message by Friday, December 19th with the 5 State Reps you want to take. We will take everyone's input and then divvy up the list and assign people to Reps to make sure everyone is covered. Our goal is to push something back out to the group and start making these contacts beginning in early January.

Thanks for your help.

Rob Monsees and Brendan Cossette

 

One Senate staffer snarks, “Blasting out that email is total amateur hour. So their strategy is to lobbyists lobby legislators? Amazing insight…”

 

Senate Staff Changes

According to the Senate staff page, the following changes have been made.

Drew Dampf is now working for District 12, Sen. Dan Hegeman.  See Dampf featured here in BeefBites, when he interned at Missouri Beef Industry Council while still a student at Mizzou.

Tabitha Twehus is now working in Computer Information Systems.

And as previously reported, Aaron Willard has joined the staff of Sen. Ryan Silvey; Kaite Reichard has left the staff of termed Sen. Brad Lager; and Jim Howerton has left as Administrator.

With their senators gone, Mary Lois Gerdes of Sen. Ryan McKenna’s office, Alec Kelley of Sen. Jolie Justus’ office have left.

 

Politico Influence on AFP Changes

Politico’s Influence reports on changes at Americans for Prosperity, “the influential economic freedom group backed by the Koch brothers network, rolled out several high-level staffing shifts on an internal call yesterday... ‘Basically this has been a movement since 2012. State directors got railroaded by corporate mentality at AFP HQ. In 2013, the state directors created a plan and that led to Luke Hilgemann [the Wisconsin state director] to take over as COO. Luke aligned himself with a handful of state directors to take back control and create a plan for success leading into 2014… By the time 2016 rolls around, each state will have a paid operation with quality talent which is getting recruited now instead of three months before the election.’”

In Missouri, AFP’s people on the ground are State Director Patrick Werner (who should be in the Missouri Political Hall of Fame solely on the basis of his prescient political timing in leaping from Todd Akin’s team before that disastrous Senate run), and Deputy State Director Rachel Payton.

 

English Gets New LA, New Walls?

Rep. Keith English has switched legislative assistants.  Replacing Shelly St. Clair is Cullen Williams.  Cullen Williams – unless this is a different Cullen Willams which I don’t think it is – worked on the Republican Bob Onder’s Senate 2 campaign…

And around the building there a buzz about English’s new interior décor of his capitol office.  One denizen describing it as “It’s like tile floors on his walls… looks ridiculous.”  And another: “Marble I think… you might say gaudy.”

 

Alliance for Childhood Education Pays Prep Work

According to a recent Missouri Ethics Commission filing the Alliance for Childhood Education has made a few non-committee expenditures to pay for the preparation of a “tobacco tax / early childhood” proposal.  This is presumably the Raise a Hand for Kids effort.  The payments include $6,000 to Brian Schmidt’s MOWonk.  See the filing here.

 

Today

Attorney General Chris Koster will hold a presser at 9:30AM downtown St. Louis to “announce action on several St. Louis County municipal courts… Rev. Starsky Wilson and Rich McClure, Co-Chairmen of the Ferguson Commission, will join the Attorney General at the news conference…”

 

Lobbyist Registrations

Kim Tuttle, John Parris, John Bardgett, and Carol Kemna deleted Missouri Professional Mutual.

Dan Shuette, Zach Brunnery, David McCacken, Janet Hirschman, Richard McIntosh, Doyle Childers, Franc Flotron, and Earl Pabst deleted Waste Remedies LLC

 

Happy Birthday

Happy birthdays to former Reps. Kevin Elmer (44), and Dennis Fowler (66), and Derrick Good (41).

 

Condolences

To Sen. Paul LeVota on the passing of his father, Sam LeVota.

Services to be held at St. Mark's Catholic Church, 3736 S. Lee's Summit Road, Independence, MO 64055

Friday, December 19: Visitation from 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM.

Saturday, December 20: Funeral Mass at 9:00 AM.