Clara Bates covers social services and poverty for The Missouri Independent. She previously worked for the Nevada Current, where she reported on labor violations in casinos, hurdles facing applicants for unemployment benefits and lax oversight of the funeral industry. She also wrote about vocational education for Democracy Journal. Bates is a graduate of Harvard College and a is a Report for America corps member.
Missouri officials vow progress as Medicaid applicant wait time remains at 100 days
By: Clara Bates - August 10, 2022
State health officials faced tough questions Wednesday from the board overseeing Missouri’s Medicaid program — with a focus on the persistently long wait times for applicants and heightened federal scrutiny of the program.
Federal government steps in to help pull Missouri out of Medicaid backlog
By: Clara Bates - August 9, 2022
Federal officials last month approved a plan to help Missouri deal with “ongoing and persistent” delays in processing Medicaid applications that have left the state out of compliance with federal standards for nearly a year. Longtime observers of the state’s Medicaid program say the decision by Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to intervene is […]
Missouri AG Eric Schmitt beats Hartzler, Greitens to claim GOP Senate nomination
By: Tessa Weinberg, Rudi Keller and Clara Bates - August 2, 2022
ST. LOUIS — Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt beat back a crowded field of opponents Tuesday night to secure the Republican nomination for Missouri’s open U.S. Senate seat. With most precincts reporting, Schmitt led with 45% of the vote, compared to 22% for U.S. Rep. Vicky Hartzler and 19% for disgraced former Gov. Eric Greitens. […]
Candidates’ ties to Missouri reform schools facing abuse allegations draw fresh scrutiny
By: Tessa Weinberg and Clara Bates - July 21, 2022
At first, Robert Bucklin was optimistic. A former student of Agape Boarding School in Stockton, Bucklin is among numerous students who have accused the Christian boarding school and its staff of physical and sexual abuse. Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt launched an investigation into the school and ultimately recommended 65 criminal counts against 22 staff. […]
Missouri judge denies state’s request to dismiss federal SNAP lawsuit
By: Clara Bates - July 20, 2022
Mary Holmes says she subsisted on hardly any food for over a month as she struggled to recertify her eligibility for federal food assistance earlier this year. She spent hours on the phone trying to speak to someone at Missouri’s Department of Social Services (DSS) for her mandatory interview, as her prepaid phone minutes dwindled. […]