A large crowd gathered at the Nutrition Center on July 6 to hear Senator Clair McCaskill answer questions and listen to residents’ concerns at the Town Hall meeting. This was the eighth meeting she held in the surrounding area in the last two days.
The meeting got started promptly at 2 p.m. with Alderman Connie Painter attending to introduce the senator as she came forward to speak. McCaskill led the crowd with the Pledge of Allegiance in the beginning. She asked if there was anyone in the crowd that would never vote for her by raise of hands with no one raising their hand. Then she asked who hasn’t voted for her with a few in the crowd raising their hand.
Next, McCaskill went right into answering questions of the guests by pulling out a paper from a basket. Earlier, when the guests arrived each were allowed to write down questions they would like to ask the senator. Randomly papers were pulled and read as McCaskill answered the crowds written concerns.
McCaskill started off discussing Big Ag and the foreign investments controlling our food. This a subject the senator voiced needed to be paid close attention to stating, “America first, why can’t we label where our meat comes from? I believe it would add value to the producer if the consumer knew where their meat was coming from.” She went on to explain that looking out for the small operations was important and that trade is something the public should be worried about.
Next, the healthcare bills were brought to the attention. McCaskill stated, “The Healthcare Bill is being done behind closed doors with Republicans only.” She voiced that she supports a transparency in pricing for healthcare costs of procedures between the hospital and insurance companies bringing attention that there is no set price for procedures.
Another questioned asked was concerning opioid drugs and how will she make sure they are available for someone who needs them. Thomas Novak stated he has severe pain and fears that he will not be able to obtain the medicine he needs related to stricter enforcement on the opioid drug market. McCaskill explained even though you may have pain and need the medicine, I support enforcement to control the opioid drug market in Missouri. Fentanyl is dangerous and the number one cause of death in the state related overdose is from opioid drugs. She stated, “Missouri is the only state in the country that does not have a prescription drug monitoring system in place,” sharing a personal message of her mother who took opioids at the end of her life to help with pain but McCaskill stated, “I’m not quite so sure that the pain she was feeling wasn’t withdraw pain from the drug itself.”
Later in the afternoon, Pat Elliot’s question was drawn asking if the senator believed if it was time for a new use of force in the Middle East. McCaskill stated that Elliot got the award for hardest question of the meeting. She explained the Middle East is very dangerous right now and with President Trump removing Article 5 from the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and isolating Cutter while we had thousands of troops there placed our Armed Forces at risk and makes our Country look unpredictable. She then stated, “Unpredictable will start a world war.” She went on to explain the importance of reassuring Southern Korea and stated, “I will work with and challenge the President when needed as Senator.”
McCaskill ended the meeting encouraging each individual to write or call their State Representative, to remain active and stated, “Thanks for doing me a favor by having this Town Hall meeting. I am very blessed to work for the people in the United States Senate.”