Missouri Senator Bill White on Senate Tensions, Proposals Affecting Planned Parenthood and Medicaid
Senator Bill White joined Jason Rosenbaum and Sarah Kellogg of St. Louis Public Radio in the latest episode of Politically Speaking. Among the topics the Republican Joplin tackled was the work of a committee he is responsible for examining state Medicaid spending for family planning organizations like Planned Parenthood.
White represents Missouri’s 32nd Senate District, which includes Jasper, Newton, and Dade counties. He served eight years at Missouri House before being elected to the Senate in 2018.
Here’s what White talked about on the program:
- His work on the Interim Senate Committee on Medicaid Accountability and Taxpayer Protection, which was created after a controversial special session involving a critical tax to fund Missouri’s Medicaid program.
- One of the proposals White spoke of was legislation that gives the state the ability to revoke any contract with a vendor who has committed “fraud, abuse or unethical behavior” under the program. Medicaid from another state. Even though the Missouri program doesn’t pay for abortions, it does pay for contraceptive services, which means the change could affect the Planned Parenthood clinic in St. Louis.
- White also discussed the schism in his caucus between people aligned with the GOP leadership and a group known as the Conservative Caucus. Tensions recently came to a head during the General Assembly’s veto session over who has the ability to override a governor’s objection.
- He predicted how the GOP split might affect things like the redistribution of Congress and the need for the legislature to appropriate federal money that will help pay for the expansion of Medicaid.
White is a lawyer who served in the Marine Corps. After working for an electrical company in Chicago, he eventually moved to Joplin where his wife, Ellen Nichols, is a neurosurgeon at Freeman Health Systems.
White won the first Missouri House election in 2010, succeeding House Speaker Ron Richard. Eight years later, White succeeded Richard again when he was elected to the seat of the 32nd district. He is seeking a new term in 2022.
Follow Jason Rosenbaum on Twitter: @jrosenbaum
Follow Sarah Kellogg on Twitter: @sarahkkellogg