Ray County should be well represented when it comes to discussing two of the hottest issues during last year’s campaign.
Rep. Bob Nance, R-Excelsior Springs, is expected to be appointed vice-chairman of the Missouri House Insurance and Healthcare Transformation Committees. Nance is also expected to be named Chairman of the House Senior Citizen Advocacy Committee and will also serve on the Agriculture Policy Committee.
Healthcare and insurance were the most discussed issues during the 36th District campaign and debates. Democratic challenger Barbara Lanning pushed the issue during the campaign. Former Gov. Matt Blunt’s 2005 Medicaid cuts were pointed to time and time again. New Gov. Jay Nixon campaigned for restoring the cuts, but has since backed off a bit.
Nance said he let it be known to new Speaker of the House Ron Richard, R-Joplin, that he wanted to play a bigger role this year, especially in healthcare, but was surprised with the commitment Richard made in him. Nance said he would have been happy just to get a spot on the Healthcare Transformation Committee.
“I really wanted to be on healthcare badly, but to get vice-chair is exciting and insurance, too is quite an honor,” he said on Tuesday. “The Speaker has a lot of faith in me, and I’m certainly going to make him realize his faith was well received.
“It sparked me a little bit,” he added. “I was excited anyway but to get two vice-chairs and a chair, wow this is something.”
Nance believes he can serve well on the Healthcare Transformation Committee because of his close knowledge of the healthcare industry in Missouri. Nance’s wife Sally is the Chief Executive Officer of Excelsior Springs Medical Center.
Nance said Richard told him he was going to keep him busy this year. He said he expressed to Richard that he felt a need to do more this year. He said he didn’t feel like he had enough to do last year and welcomes the additional workload.
“I told him that I felt like I skated a little bit last year,” he said. “I was on three committees and one of the committees didn’t meet very often. This year I’m going to work much harder and I’m going to like that.”