COLUMBIA, Mo. — “These last three weeks aren’t about me,” U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill told a room that was overflowing with supporters in Mid-Missouri. “These last three weeks are about you.”
One day after debating her Republican challenger for the second time, the incumbent Senator issued a call to action while in Columbia, asking proponents to talk to their neighbors and friends, to volunteer with the campaign, and help in whatever way they can, to get the message out.
The message? That McCaskill has the wherewithal to be an independent in the United States Senate and to represent the citizens of Missouri without caving to party-line politics.
“We don’t need someone to sit on one side of the room and tell the other side that they stink. And that is [Josh Hawley’s] campaign so far,” said McCaskill.
The incumbent Democrat who is running for her third term is currently in a head-to-head battle with Republican candidate Josh Hawley is the race to represent Missouri in the U.S. Senate.
McCaskill has made health care the hallmark of her campaign.
“My grandmother use having a saying that ‘don’t watch their mouth move, watch their feet move,’” McCaskill said.
She notes that when it comes to health care Hawley’s mouth does one thing while his feet does another. Hawley says that he supports requiring health insurance companies to cover individuals that have pre-existing conditions, but his action show differently, according to McCaskill.
As in the advertisements her campaign promotes, McCaskill pointed to the federal lawsuit where Hawley, acting as the Attorney General for the state of Missouri, is suing against the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act — which is more commonly known as Obamacare.
Should the lawsuit be successful, the entirety of the law would be overturned, including the mandate that companies cover pre-existing conditions, she said.
“There is a long list of things that Missourians want to hold on to that his lawsuit would get rid of,” McCaskill said.
McCaskill also pointed out that several other popular provision that would go away, such as women not being charged a higher rate than men, 80 percent of every dollar being spent on health care, children staying on their parent’s plan until they are 26-years-old, and the Medicare prescription ‘donut hole’ being filled.
“[Hawley] may not remember the bad old days, but I do,” said McCaskill.
She recalled when she was working as an assistant prosecutor in Kansas City, that her parents had to move in with her because her father had a brain tumor.
“He had some leftover insurance from the job he had to leave, then he had nothing. And guess what? No insurance company wanted him and he wasn’t old enough for Medicare,” McCaskill recounted. “I remember my mom, in the next room, being very upset because she was so frightened about how we were going to manage care for my dad.”
The first time McCaskill ran for the U.S. Senate, she remembers that everywhere she went, someone would want to talk about a person in their family that couldn’t get health care. And with the passage of ‘Obamacare,’ that particular issue was addressed.
The law needs some changes, it is not perfect, and there are fixes to the issue in Congress now, McCaskill noted, but they haven’t come up for a vote because of Republican leadership.
Alisha Shurr is a reporter for the Missouri Times and Missouri Times Magazine. She joined the Missouri Times in January 2018 after working as a copy editor for her hometown newspaper in Southern Oregon. Alisha is a graduate of Kansas State University. Contact Alisha at firstname.lastname@example.org.