Efforts to establish a prescription drug monitoring program in Missouri are making a comeback this year. But there’s a twist: the main opponent of establishing such a program is now sponsoring legislation.
“I think it’s a severe intrusion of our liberty to have the government create a database that is accessible by thousands of people, if not tens of thousands of people, who would then have access to sensitive private information,” said Republican Senator Rob Schaaf, a physician in St. Joseph, Mo.
Healthcare reform was on the agenda in Gov. Jay Nixon’s 2013 state of the state address as he called upon lawmakers to broaden Medicaid so more Missourians would have access to healthcare. Nixon’s proposed budget includes an expansion of Missouri’s Medicaid program. Estimates are the plan would add nearly 260,000 lower-income adults to the healthcare program through the use of $908 million in federal funds, money that would be received by opting in to the federal Medicaid expansion. In his recent state of the state address, Nixon argued the expansion would create jobs for many Missourians and would bring increased revenue to the state.
A federal court is scheduled today, to take up one Missouri businessesman’s challenge to a recently enacted provision of the federal health law. The provision requires that most employee-health plans include no-cost coverage of contraceptives. But the rule has faced backlash from several businesses and lawmakers around the region.
Missourians are already seeing changes in healthcare coverage since the Affordable Care Act was first implemented. According to Ryan Barker, Director of Health Policy for the Missouri Foundation for Health, changes already affecting Missourians include provisions allowing young people to stay on their parents’ insurance plans until the age of 26, Medicare coverage of preventative services without a co-pay, and a new rule that requires some insurance providers to partially reimburse customers if they don’t limit overhead and administrative costs.
Missouri’s participation in a federal Medicaid expansion would be an economic boon for the state and even pay for itself, according to a new report commissioned by the Missouri Hospital Association and the Missouri Foundation for Health. Under the federal health law, states can choose whether or not to expand Medicaid, which provides health insurance to the poor and disabled. The federal government would fully pay for an expansion during the first few years, but many state lawmakers, like Republican house speaker Tim Jones, worry about the long-term costs.
U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill says there will be a political price to pay for state legislators who allow the federal government to run the state’s health insurance exchange.
In a conference call with reporters Wednesday, the Democratic Senator said the federal health care law is going to be implemented and the state of the Missouri has the opportunity to get resources from the federal government.
A new report says Missouri's Medicaid costs could rise by 6.6 percent over 10 years if the state fully implements the federal health care law.
But the report also says almost half of that increase will occur even if Missouri does not expand Medicaid eligibility for adults.
The report by the Kaiser Family Foundation and Urban Institute says Missouri can expect to spend an additional $1.2 billion from 2013 to 2022 as more people join the Medicaid rolls because of the federal health care law.
The federal government will set up and manage a health exchange in Missouri. An exchange is an online marketplace where individuals and small businesses will soon shop for health plans. The Affordable Care Act, or obamacare, requires that all states have exchanges up and running by 2014. States have until next week to indicate whether they will run one or not.
The 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Thursday that the Republican Lt. Governor has no legal standing to file suit because the Affordable Care Act poses no immediate threat to Kinder’s legally protected interests. He filed suit two years ago as an individual, not in his official capacity as Lt. Governor. The three-judge panel’s ruling did not address the constitutionality of the federal health care law, most of which was upheld last year in a 5-4 ruling by the U-S Supreme Court.
College of the Ozarks filed a lawsuit today against the US Departments of Health and Human Services, Labor, and the Treasury, arguing that the so-called “contraceptive mandate” in the Affordable Care Act is unconstitutional.
Governor Jay Nixon has vetoed a bill that would have exempted religious organizations from covering contraception under their health insurance plans, if that coverage would go against the organizations' beliefs. Nixon said in his remarks that existing law adequately protects religious liberties.
The Republican-led U.S. House of Representatives voted today to repeal the federal health care law. The House has voted more than 30 times to repeal or defund the Affordable Care Act. Every Republican in Congress voted for the repeal, including mid-Missouri's two representatives.