- The Kansas City Starsaid “Eric Greitens’ first session” was “undercut by ethics questions.”
- Leader Publications recently criticized Eric Greitens for failing on ethics reform: “So, the question has been narrowed to two possibilities – has the swamp claimed another former white knight, or was he just another self-promoting schmuck in white knight clothing?”
- St. Louis Public Radio reported that “Greitens’ relationship with the legislature could use some repair.”
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – As reports are making clear that President Donald Trump revealed highly classified information to a Russian foreign minister and ambassador, endangering a critical intelligence source aiding America’s fight against the Islamic State, the Missouri Democratic Party is highlighting what Missouri’s Republican officeholders said about the handling of classified intelligence just last year.
Missouri Democratic Party Chair Stephen Webber stated: ““If Missouri’s Republicans have nothing to say now, then Missourians will know they don’t really care about protecting classified information – they’re just hypocrites out to say whatever will further their extreme agenda.”
Here’s what Missouri’s Republican officeholders said about the handling of classified information last year:
- Governor Eric Greitens: “I remain profoundly troubled by the latest revelations about the classified information on Hillary Clinton’s personal server. In the Navy, we learned from day one, ‘lose lips sink ships.’”
- Senator Roy Blunt: “The law establishes a standard that national security material cannot be handled carelessly.”
- Attorney General Josh Hawley: “Sec. Clinton’s outrageous conduct & lack of prosecution shows we need an AG who knows how to win for the rule of law.”
- Lt. Governor Mike Parson: “Clinton is once again under FBI investigation for mishandling classified information vital to our national security…Missourians know better. Missourians deserve better.”
- Congresswoman Ann Wagner (MO2): “Reckless mishandling of classified information proves that she cannot be trusted with the support of Missouri families.”
- Congressman Blaine Luetkemeyer (MO3): “At the very least, the Director of National Intelligence needs to suspend all classified briefings to Secretary Clinton until we have more information from the FBI regarding the scope of its investigation and to ensure that all Americans have the full and accurate story.”
- Congressman Billy Long (MO7): “It’s unthinkable that such brazen carelessness with our secret national security data could avoid justice.”
- Congressman Jason Smith (MO8): “Clinton put our national security at risk with her blatant disregard for the rule of law. And by extension, she put at risk the American lives that are protected by those laws. Actions have consequences… That is not the country that you and I know and a country of double standards is not one that you or I should accept.”
Radio Silence from Greitens, Parson and Hawley on Trumpcare while Republican Governors in Ohio, Arkansas and Nevada Announce their Opposition
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Missouri Governor Eric Greitens is heading to a Trump resort in Miami this week while Missourians are still waiting for answers from the Governor’s Mansion and Republican leaders in Jefferson City on Trumpcare and its gutting of protections for people who’ve been sick before.
The ongoing silence from
the Governor, Lt. Governor Mike Parson, and Attorney General Josh Hawley, among other Republican leaders in Jefferson City, on the House-passed GOP health care bill is in contrast to the fact that Republican governors from around the country – including Ohio Governor John Kasich, Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson, and Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval – have publicly expressed their opposition to Trumpcare.
Missouri Democratic Party Chair Stephen
Webber stated: “Before heading to a luxury Trump resort in Miami, Missourians deserve some honest answers from Eric Greitens and Republican leaders in Jefferson City on Trumpcare and its gutting of protections for people who’ve been sick before.”
- According to the Kansas City Star, “Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens will join GOP governors from around the country this week at a luxury resort in Miami owned by President Donald Trump.”
- Republican Governors like Ohio Governor John Kasich, Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson, and Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval have all publicly expressed their opposition to the House-passed Republican health care bill.
- Governor Eric Greitens supported the first version of Trumpcare in late March. Since then, the Kansas City Star Editorial Board has noted Greitens’ silence, recently asking him to answer the question, “Do you support the Republican health care bill?” And just last week, NPR noted that Greitens did not say “whether he supports” Trumpcare or “whether he’d want Missouri to seek permission to opt out of” protections for Missourians with pre-existing conditions.
- The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported in March that “after campaigning against Obamacare,” Josh Hawley has been “silent” on Trumpcare.
As support for Trumpcare plunges among Americans, doctors, medical groups, and seniors unite against plan to gut protections for people with pre-existing conditions, hike costs for older Missourians
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Missouri’s Republican leaders in Jefferson City are staying silent on Trumpcare, as the bill’s popularity continues to plummet and major health and patient advocacy groups are highlighting their opposition to the House-passed GOP health care legislation that guts protections for Missourians with pre-existing health conditions and hikes costs for older Americans.
In contrast to these groups – including AARP, the American Medical Association, and the Children’s hospital association – Missourians have heard silence from Missouri’s statewide officeholders like Governor Eric Greitens, Lt. Governor Mike Parson, and Attorney General Josh Hawley, even as the key change in the House-passed Trumpcare bill allows state leaders the ability to “opt-out” of key health care protections.
“You’d think after spending the better half of a decade talking about getting rid of the Affordable Care Act, Missouri’s Republicans would have something to say about the GOP’s House-passed health care plan,” said Missouri Democratic Party Chair Stephen Webber. “Instead, Eric Greitens, Mike Parson and Josh Hawley – along with other GOP legislative leaders – are staying silent on Trumpcare and its gutting of protections for Missourians who’ve been sick before and have pre-existing health conditions. The American people are making it loud and clear they do not want Trumpcare, and they deserve an answer from our state Republican officeholders.”
In contrast to the silence of Missouri’s GOP leaders, here’s what AARP, doctors, patient advocates and other key medical groups are saying about Trumpcare:
- “Allowing insurance companies to once again charge Americans with pre-existing conditions more because they’ve had cancer, diabetes or heart disease — would make a bad bill even worse.” – AARP
- “Not only would the AHCA eliminate health insurance coverage for millions of Americans, the legislation would, in many cases, eliminate the ban against charging those with underlying medical conditions vastly more for their coverage…millions of Americans will lose their health insurance as a direct result of this proposal.” – American Medical Association
- “The various patchwork solutions offered by lawmakers would still leave the millions of patients we represent, who have serious and chronic health conditions, at risk of not being able to access life-saving treatments and care.” – American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, American Heart Association, American Lung Association, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, March of Dimes, National Organization for Rare Disorders, National MS Society, and WomenHeart: The National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease
- “The latest version of the AHCA continues to put health coverage in jeopardy for many Americans. Our top concern is what this change could mean for older and sicker patients, including those with pre-existing conditions, such as cancer patients and those with chronic conditions. For these reasons, along with our previously stated concerns about the AHCA, we cannot support the bill.” – American Hospital Association
- “On behalf of our nation’s children’s hospitals and the patients and families they serve, Children’s Hospital Association (CHA) continues to oppose the newly modified American Health Care Act… Recently adopted changes only worsen the AHCA by putting children with preexisting conditions at increased risk of losing health care coverage and failing to correct the Medicaid cuts that would impact over 30 million kids.” – Children’s Hospital Association
In case you missed it, NPR reported yesterday that Governor Eric Greitens and Missouri’s GOP leaders like Lieutenant Governor Mike Parson and Attorney General Josh Hawley are still hiding from Trumpcare, while highlighting a Missouri family – with a child who has a pre-existing condition – that’s worried that the state’s leaders will use the House-passed GOP health care bill to throw away protections for pre-existing conditions that they rely on for health care and economic security.
NPR notes that Greitens did not say “whether he supports” Trumpcare or “whether he’d want Missouri to seek permission to opt out of” protections for Missourians with pre-existing conditions.
The report adds that Larry Levitt, senior vice president of the Kaiser Family Foundation, thinks this is especially relevant for Missouri, saying it’s one of the states that “made a decision to not go along with the Affordable Care Act, and I think that those states are facing a similar kind of decision here.”
Missouri Democratic Party Chair Stephen Webber stated: “Protections for folks who’ve been sick before and have a pre-existing health condition are not some political game for Missouri’s families – they’re a necessary means to health care and economic security. After campaigning loudly against the Affordable Care Act, Eric Greitens, Mike Parson, and Josh Hawley – among Missouri’s other GOP leaders – need to come out of hiding on Trumpcare.”
Please see below for the full story from NPR:
GOP Health Bill Leaves Many ‘Pre-Existing Condition’ Protections Up To States
By Bram Sable-Smith
Ryan Lennon Fines seems like a typical 2-year-old. He and his parents, Scott Fines and Brianna Lennon, flip through a picture book of emergency vehicles. Ryan is looking for the motorcycle, but a photo of an airplane catches his dad’s eye.
“That’s an air ambulance,” Fines tells him. “You’ve been on one of those.”
When Ryan was born in 2014, his mouth wasn’t connected to his stomach. It’s a condition known as esophageal atresia. After three months in a hospital in St. Louis, the family flew to Boston, where Ryan had surgery.
The surgery worked. Ryan is active and can eat normally — he had two big pieces of fruit leather and some crackers in the 45 minutes I was there. But all that time in the hospital was expensive. In the first six months of his life, Ryan’s insurance plan was billed $750,000. The family had to pay only $5,000 of that — Ryan’s maximum out-of-pocket expenses, under his insurance plan, for 2014 and 2015.
“We were lucky we had a really good, employer-provided [health insurance] plan,” Lennon says.
Now, the family is worried about Ryan’s future. He’ll still need between $20,000 and $30,000 of medical care every year. They have insurance through Fines’ work, but the health care bill that Republicans passed in the House last week could affect Ryan’s care.
All six Republicans from Missouri — including Rep. Vicky Hartzler, from the district where Scott, Brianna and Ryan live — voted for the bill, which unwinds many of the provisions and protections of the Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare. In a video posted to Twitter, Hartzler says passing the bill was an important first step to replacing the ACA.
“It covers pre-existing conditions,” she says, “still retains the ability for young people to stay on their parents’ policies, and makes sure that there are no lifetime caps.”
That’s true, but the bill also gives states the authority to allow insurers a number of exemptions from the federal law. For example, while the GOP bill retains the ACA provision that people, like Ryan, who have pre-existing conditions cannot be denied coverage, there’s a potential loophole. In a last-minute amendment proposed by Rep. Tom MacArthur, R-N.J., a state could seek permission to allow insurance companies to charge patients more (based on their health history) if their coverage lapses for more than 63 days.
That provision in the GOP bill would tremendously weaken the ACA protections, says Larry Levitt, senior vice president of the Kaiser Family Foundation.
“This would guarantee access to insurance for people with pre-existing conditions in theory, but not really in practice — because they could be charged astronomically high premiums,” says Levitt.
Before the Affordable Care Act was enacted in 2010, he says, it was common for people with pre-existing conditions to be charged much higher premiums or to be denied coverage altogether. If a state decides to waive the federal law’s protections, this could happen again.
The amendment would require that states seeking a waiver must also help people who have high health care costs. High-risk pools are the most commonly cited type of program to do this, but they were often underfunded and expensive for consumers and states.
Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens, a Republican, supported the GOP health plan in March. His office didn’t respond to NPR’s questions about whether he supports the current version of this bill or whether he’d want Missouri to seek permission to opt out of some of the provisions. Levitt says it would likely be conservative states, like Missouri and the 18 other states that did not expand Medicaid, that may try to opt out.
Those states, Levitt says, “made a decision to not go along with the Affordable Care Act, and I think that those states are facing a similar kind of decision here.”
Fines and Lennon say they face tough decisions if this bill becomes law.
“We would have to either move to a state that didn’t waive community protections or out of the country entirely if we could,” Fines says. “I’m not going to risk my son’s health on the political whims of efferson City.”
But before any decisions are made in Missouri’s state capital, the GOP bill is in the hands of the U.S. Senate, where it could change before becoming federal law.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Congresswoman Ann Wagner told reporters on Thursday that she “can’t imagine” state leaders in Jefferson City would opt-out of key protections for Missourians who have pre-existing health conditions but praised the bill for giving them that “freedom.” Unless Wagner has inside information she’s failing to share with Missourians, the truth is that Governor Eric Greitens, Lieutenant Governor Mike Parson, and Attorney General Josh Hawley – among other GOP legislative leaders – have all been silent on the House-passed Trumpcare and protections for Missourians with pre-existing health conditions.
In contrast to their current silence, Missouri’s Republican statewide officeholders loudly campaigned against the Affordable Care Act last year. Congresswoman Wagner made her comments as one of the politicians in charge of rallying Republican votes for the Trumpcare bill that passed the U.S. House last week.
“Congresswoman Ann Wagner was one of the politicians in charge of this disastrous bill, which gives leaders in Jefferson City the ability to gut protections for Missourians who’ve been sick before,” said Missouri Democratic Party Chair Stephen Webber. “Her assurances are especially meaningless until we hear directly from Eric Greitens, Mike Parson, Josh Hawley and other GOP leaders who will be responsible for deciding if insurers can discriminate against Missourians with pre-existing health conditions. Not to mention, this is the same Republican Party that has denied health care for 300,000 Missourians by blocking Medicaid expansion.”
- Last week, Congresswoman Ann Wagner told C-Span that she “can’t imagine” Missouri would seek a waiver that would allow the state to opt-out of key protections for Missourians with pre-existing health conditions.
- Governor Eric Greitens supported the first version of Trumpcare in late March. Since then, the Kansas City Star Editorial Board has noted Greitens’ silence, recently asking him to answer the question, “Do you support the Republican health care bill?” And the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported in March that “after campaigning against Obamacare,” Josh Hawley has been “silent” on Trumpcare.
- Under the GOP’s new health care proposal, states have the ability to “waive consumer protections,” which would once again allow insurance companies to hike costs for Americans with pre-existing conditions. AARP said that change “would make this bad bill even worse.”
- According to a CNBC report, only 5 percent of “current enrollees in the individual insurance market with some type of pre-existing chronic condition” will be protected by the GOP’s health care bill.
- Expanding Medicaid in Missouri would deliver access to health care for 300,000 residents next year. (Missouri Office of Administration, Division of Budget and Planning, 2015)
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Following today’s court ruling that strikes down key parts of Amendment 2, the Missouri Democratic Party is calling on Attorney General Josh Hawley to take the necessary legal action to fully restore the campaign finance rules that Missouri voters overwhelmingly approved with nearly 70 percent of the vote just last November. Missouri Republican Party Chair Todd Graves was one of the leading lawyers challenging Amendment 2.
“It’s no wonder the Missouri Republican Party’s Chairman was the chief lawyer fighting to reopen these dark money channels – today’s ruling will make it easier for Eric Greitens and Missouri’s Republican officeholders to continue relying on special interests and billionaires with a pay-to-play agenda to advance policies that benefit big corporations at the expense of working Missourians,” said Missouri Democratic Party Chair Stephen Webber. “Attorney General Josh Hawley should honor the will of the voters and take immediate legal action to restore these campaign finance rules.”
According to St. Louis Public Radio, Todd Graves, Chairman of the Missouri Republican Party was “one of the chief lawyers challenging” Amendment 2. The report adds that today’s ruling strikes down “a provision in the law that banned committee-to-committee transfers” which opens up “the ability to raise an unlimited amount of money through a local political action committee and transfer that cash to a different PAC. In effect, that will make campaign money harder to track and makes it easier for candidates to get around the individual donor limit.”
JEFFERSON CITY, MO. – As Eric Greitens recently admitted to an ethics violation from the Missouri Ethics Commission, the Governor also revealed that he was blatantly dishonest to Missourians in October about his campaign fundraising.
According to the Associated Press, Greitens recently signed a consent order, agreeing “to pay a penalty to the state Ethics Commission for failing to report that his gubernatorial campaign got a donor list” from The Mission Continues.
In a clear contrast, then-candidate Greitens denied using a fundraising list from The Mission Continues in October, stating: “No, we were not working off of a Mission Continues donor list.”
Missouri Democratic Party Chair Stephen Webber said, “Eric Greitens has already shown he’s willing to say and do anything if he thinks it will promote himself. It’s only been a few months, but this is once again a loss for Missourians who just want government to look out for their interests – instead of this non-stop misdirection coming from the Governor’s mansion.”
- According to the Associated Press, “Missouri Republican Gov. Eric Greitens has agreed to pay a penalty to the state Ethics Commission for failing to report that his gubernatorial campaign got a donor list from a charity he had founded to help military veterans.” (AP, 4/29/17)
- During his 2016 gubernatorial campaign, “Greitens denied using the charity’s donor database for his campaign, according to AP. Greitens said, ‘No, we were not working off of a Mission Continues donor list.’” (AP, 10/10/16)
Missouri Democratic Party Chair Stephen Webber released the following statement on the breaking news that Governor Eric Greitens has been found guilty of an ethics violation:
“After running as an ‘outsider’ that would clean up the Capitol, Eric Greitens has already proven that he embodies everything that disgusts us about the culture of corruption in Jefferson City. It’s only been a few months, but the Governor’s problems with ethics just don’t go away.”