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Politically Speaking: Rep. David Wood Breaks Down The Big Drop In Missouri’s Medicaid Rolls

State Rep. David Wood, R-Versailles
Tim Bommel I House Communications
State Rep. David Wood, R-Versailles

State Rep. David Wood is the latest guest on the Politically Speaking podcast. The Versailles Republican spoke with St. Louis Public Radio’s Jaclyn Driscoll and Jason Rosenbaum about controversy in the state’s Medicaid program and other issues.

Wood was elected to Missouri’s 58th House District in 2012. He’s currently serving his final term in the General Assembly’s lower chamber, where he’s chairman of the House Appropriations subcommittee for health, mental health and social services.

Here’s what Wood had to say during the show:

  • Wood discussed at length the drop in the number of children in the state’s Medicaid program. It’s an issue that’s alarmed Democrats in the General Assembly, and prompted Republican House Speaker Elijah Haahr to be agreeable to hearings on the issue.
  • He talked about his dealings with Mo HealthNet Director Todd Richardson. Before being appointed to that job, Richardson was speaker of the Missouri House from 2015 to the beginning of 2019. The Poplar Bluff native did not have a health care background before he took on that key role.
  • Since Missouri did not end up expanding Medicaid under the parameters of the Affordable Care Act, a number of groups are circulating an initiative petition to put that decision up for a statewide vote. Wood talked about whether Missouri lawmakers could act on the issue before voters make a decision on the measure.
  • Wood is the vice chairman of the House Budget Committee. He discussed Missouri’s revenue situation — as well as a bonding proposal aimed at fixing dozens of the state’s bridges.

Wood was a math and computer science teacher in Versailles for roughly 25 years. He’s also worked as a telecom administrator for the Capital Region Medical Center.

He took the plunge into state politics in 2012, when he ran for a House seat that includes Morgan, Miller and Moniteau counties. He prevailed in a three-way Republican primary — the decisive contest in the district that tilts heavily toward the GOP. Since that election, Wood hasn’t faced serious opposition from either major political party.

Earlier in his legislative career, Wood was the chairman of the Joint Committee on Education. The 2020 session will be his last session in the Missouri House, as he’ll be barred from running again due to term limits.

Politically Speaking

The podcast is sponsored by the St. Louis-based law firm of Capes Sokol

Follow Jaclyn Driscoll on Twitter: @DriscollNPR

Follow Jason Rosenbaum on Twitter: @jrosenbaum

Follow Julie O’Donoghue on Twitter: @jsodonoghue

Follow David Wood on Twitter: @RepDistrict58

Music: “Would?” by Alice in Chains

Jason is the politics correspondent for St. Louis Public Radio.
Jaclyn is the Jefferson City statehouse reporter for St. Louis Public Radio.