© 2023 St. Louis Public Radio
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Health care storm to swirl today around McCaskill

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Oct. 20, 2009 - U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., is the prime target today of various groups in favor of revamping the nation's health-care system -- and including a public insurance option.

Missouri Health Care for America Now, a coalition of various supportive public-option groups, plans to gather at noon today outside McCaskill's local office at 5850 A Delmar Boulevard. The event is among more than 20 planned in four cities around the state today in which public-option supporters plan to call or show up at the various offices of members of the Missouri congressional delegation.

The group also will join another like-minded coalition -- Missouri Pro Vote -- and other supporters by stationing members at various major area intersections during the morning and evening rush hours "to remind Congress, the media, and our neighbors, that it’s time to deliver on real health care reform,'' organizers say.

McCaskill has, for the most part, sided with President Barack Obama on the need for health care changes. But she has yet to take strong must-have positions on certain provisions, such as the expansive public option favored by many groups, including those organizing today's events.

However, a McCaskill spokeswoman said this morning that the senator long has favored a "constrained public option."

At her town hall meetings this summer held around the state, McCaskill said she would first closely scrutinize the various health care bills circulating through Congress (there's five major ones) and that she would wait until the final version is formulated before she takes a final position.

Meanwhile, tonight, President Barack Obama's de facto campaign arm -- Organizing for America -- has set up hundreds of gatherings around the country (dubbed "Time to Deliver") that call for action now on health care changes. The events here are in Webster Groves, south St. Louis and Manchester.

The president is slated to address the attendees in a tele-conference, Politico reports.

Jo Mannies has been covering Missouri politics and government for almost four decades, much of that time as a reporter and columnist at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. She was the first woman to cover St. Louis City Hall, was the newspaper’s second woman sportswriter in its history, and spent four years in the Post-Dispatch Washington Bureau. She joined the St. Louis Beacon in 2009. She has won several local, regional and national awards, and has covered every president since Jimmy Carter. She scared fellow first-graders in the late 1950s when she showed them how close Alaska was to Russia and met Richard M. Nixon when she was in high school. She graduated from Valparaiso University in northwest Indiana, and was the daughter of a high school basketball coach. She is married and has two grown children, both lawyers. She’s a history and movie buff, cultivates a massive flower garden, and bakes banana bread regularly for her colleagues.

Send questions and comments about this story to feedback@stlpublicradio.org.