health care reform

4:01 pm
Wed June 25, 2014

Five Missouri hospitals team up for better care

Credit Shelby Mann

Five hospitals in Missouri have announced the formation of a collaborative network today. The network is an effort to improve health care and access to health care in Missouri.

The newly formed Health Network of Missouri is composed of Bothwell Regional Health Center in Sedalia, Capital Region Medical Center in Jefferson City, Hannibal Regional Healthcare System, Lake Regional Health System in Osage Beach and the University of Missouri Health Care in Columbia.

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4:55 pm
Thu February 6, 2014

Nixon pushes Medicaid expansion for mental health services

Gov. Jay Nixon wants to expand Medicaid services to cover uninsured citizens looking for mental health services.
File Photo KBIA

Gov. Jay Nixon is reiterating his push for Medicaid reform, saying expanding the program would cover the 50,000 currently uninsured Missourians who need mental health services.

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Under the Microscope
11:59 am
Mon July 15, 2013

Insurance industry 'whistleblower' talks health care reform

Credit Alan Cleaver / flickr

Listen to KBIA's Harum Helmy chat with insurance industry 'whistleblower' Wendell Potter on Under the Microscope.

For about two decades, Wendell Potter spun carefully crafted public relations messages for Humana and Cigna, the insurance companies where he worked. He recalls convincing consumers that high-deductible insurance plans would be good for everyone; telling them that by paying more, they’d have more skin in the game of their own health.

“I frankly just got so disillusioned and, ultimately, disgusted with what I was doing,” Potter said.

He said through his own research, he knew high-deductible plans were not the best insurance coverage for those with middle-class income.

“The median household income in this country is just barely $50,000,” Potter said. “A family that’s earning $50,000, if they’re in a plan with a high deductible, they face bankruptcy or foreclosure [if something happens]. I’ve talked to a lot of people who have lost their homes and have to declare bankruptcy because they have been in these kinds of plans. They think they have adequate coverage and they don’t.”

In 2008, Potter left the insurance industry and became a consumer advocate. He testified in Congress against high-deductible plans. In 2010, he published a book detailing the ways public-relations practices of the insurance industry affect American health care. 

Now, Potter writes columns and travels around the country to debunk what he calls are “myths” about the Affordable Care Act. The law imposes stricter rules on insurance companies. They can no longer refuse coverage for consumers who have a pre-existing condition, for example. Companies also have to spend at least 80 percent of every dollar of a consumer's premium for patient care and quality improvements, not profits or administrative costs. 

On a recent visit to Columbia, Potter sat down with KBIA's Harum Helmy to chat about health care reform and the insurance industry's response to it. 

Listen to a longer version of the interview.

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Science, Health and Technology
2:34 pm
Fri February 1, 2013

Health news roundup: Medicaid edition

Medicaid expansion is a fundamental part in Gov. Nixon's proposed budget for the 2014 fiscal year. In the annual State of the State address, Nixon highlighted the possible economic benefits of an expansion.
Office of Missouri Governor

From KBIA’s Health, Wealth and Society Desk, the first installment of a weekly rundown of health news affecting mid-Missouri.

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9:44 am
Mon July 2, 2012

Missouri to decide on Medicaid expansion

The capitol building, Jefferson city
j.stephenconn Flickr

The U.S. Supreme Court ruling, upholding the federal health law, has provided more clarity to the region and country. 

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Science, Health and Technology
8:58 am
Fri June 29, 2012

Court's Medicaid ruling could leave thousands uninsured

As part yesterday's Supreme Court decision on Obama's health care law, the justices ruled the federal government can't revoke states' Medicaid funding for failing to comply with the law's required Medicaid  expansion. And as Véronique LaCapra reports, that could leave some Missourians without access to health insurance.

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Health & Wealth Update
5:26 pm
Thu June 28, 2012

After Supreme Court decision on health care, Missourians split on next step

Republican State Representative Chris Molendorp, who chairs the House Health Insurance Committee, said the ruling has a "silver lining for states' rights advocates."
Jacob Fenston KBIA

The U.S. Supreme Court upheld most of the federal health care law in a ruling this morning. Among Missouri officials, and on the streets of downtown Columbia this afternoon, reaction was mixed.

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NPR Story
11:46 am
Thu June 28, 2012

The Supreme Court's health care decision: what does it mean for Missouri?

Originally published on Fri June 29, 2012 9:23 am

Will be updated.

Updated 5:06 p.m. with more information.

As we reported this morning, the Supreme Court has held that the federal healthcare law is constitutional.

That includes the individual mandate that requires almost all Americans to buy health insurance by 2014.

The Court called the penalty that someone must pay for refusing to buy insurance a kind of tax that the Congress can impose under the Constitution.

Health Insurance Exchanges

Some will turn to the online marketplaces known as health insurance exchanges to fulfill the mandate.

The director of health policy for the Missouri Foundation for Health, Ryan Barker, says Missouri is one of a couple dozen states that have resisted setting up a state health insurance exchange.

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Shots - Health Blog
10:11 am
Thu June 28, 2012

Supreme Court Upholds Care Health Law

Supporters of the health care law march in front of the Supreme Court building.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Thu June 28, 2012 1:55 pm

In one of the most widely anticipated decisions in recent history, the U.S. Supreme Court today ruled that the sweeping federal law overhauling the nation's health care system is constitutional.

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10:07 am
Tue June 26, 2012

Nixon says individual insurance mandate is not good for Missouri

Governor Jay Nixon
File Photo KBIA

Speaking at ceremonial bill signing in  St. Louis, Governor Nixon sounded more like a Republican when he asked about the Supreme Court’s impending health care ruling.

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5:31 pm
Mon June 25, 2012

Rural provisions of health care law could be affected by court ruling

Protesters outside the U.S. Supreme Court, during the court's oral arguments in March.
Angela N. Flickr

The U.S. Supreme Court will likely rule on the fate of the federal health care reform law this Thursday. That ruling could affect provisions of the law aimed at improving health in rural America.

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Health & Wealth Update
10:09 am
Wed March 28, 2012

Missouri awaits Supreme Court ruling on health reform

Supporters and opponents of the Affordable Care Act hold competing rallies outside the Supreme Court this week.
David Sachs SEIU

Health care reform is in the cross-hairs at the U.S. Supreme Court this week. In this Health & Wealth update, as the nine justices hear oral arguments on Obama's 2010 health reform, implementation of some aspects of the law are on hold in Missouri.

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AM Newscasts
8:22 am
Fri March 23, 2012

Newscast for March 23, 2012

Jacob Fenston KBIA

Regional news coverage from the KBIA Newsroom, including:

  • Missouri House committee endorses legislation making it a crime for federal officials to enforce the 2010 federal health care overhaul in Missouri. 
  • Missouri House passes $24 billion state budget. 
  • Missouri flag desecration law declared unconstitutional.
5:18 pm
Mon February 13, 2012

Missouri's senators at odds on contraception coverage

Roy Blunt in Columbia on Saturday.
Jacob Fenston KBIA

The Obama administration continues to come under fire for a rule that would make religious organizations cover contraceptives under employees' health care plans. A compromise announced on Friday has not placated the president's critics, including members of Missouri's congressional delegation.

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Health & Wealth Update
10:03 am
Wed November 16, 2011

One Person's Travelocity is Another's Government Takeover

The left-leaning crowd in St. Louis waved signs as senators listened to over three hours of testimony.
Jacob Fenston KBIA

Backers compare health insurance exchanges to Travelocity or Expedia. Websites where you can quickly compare prices and features to get the best deal. But detractors oppose them as a federal intrusion into the health care market. In this weekly Health & Wealth update, Missourians debate the merits of Obama's health reform law, as state lawmakers try to decide whether to authorize an exchange.

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Health & Wealth Blog
10:06 am
Fri November 11, 2011

Senators Get an Earful on Health Reform

From front to back: Senators Scott Rupp, Jane Cunningham, Joseph Keaveny, and Jim Lembke.
Jacob Fenston KBIA

Missouri state senators listened to over 3 hours of impassioned testimony on health care reform yesterday. The hearing was supposed to be on the rather mundane question of whether Missouri should set up an online health care exchange starting in 2014, or let the federal government do so. But the hearing quickly became a forum for debating the merits of health reform itself. After the jump, two interviews with senators on the committee: a Democrat representing one of the state's most liberal districts, and a Republican who has been at the forefront of Missouri's pushback against "Obamacare."

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Health & Wealth Blog
11:47 am
Thu November 3, 2011

Full Interview with Lt. Governor Kinder

Lt. Governor Peter Kinder.

Lt. Governor Peter Kinder takes aim at "Obamacare," and Democratic rivals. We discuss his legal challenge to what he calls "the federal health control law," and why he thinks his lawsuit will likely end up before the Supreme Court. We also cover some political turf: Kinder compares his style of leadership with that of Governor Jay Nixon. Missourians, says Kinder, "want a fighter, not someone who will lie down and just take dictation from our federal masters."

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Health & Wealth Update
6:10 pm
Wed November 2, 2011

Health Reform Moves Toward the Supreme Court

Missourians have never been in love with health reform. A year ago, Missouri was the first to pass a state law prohibiting an individual insurance mandate. It was a largely symbolic rejection of the Affordable Care Act, but now, more serious obstacles are looming. Missouri Lieutenant Governor Peter Kinder is one of dozens of officials from around the country challenging "Obamacare" in the courts.

In this weekly Health & Wealth update, the Affordable Care Act moves toward the U.S. Supreme Court. 

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Health & Wealth Blog
6:53 pm
Fri October 28, 2011

Paying for Quality, Not Quantity

Harold Miller is president and CEO of the Network for Regional Healthcare Improvement and the executive director of the national Center for Healthcare Quality and Payment Reform.

In the United States, we pay a lot more for our health care than other wealthy countries, but we are no healthier.  Missourians actually pay even more per capita than the U.S. average, and are even less healthy. (Missouri is ranked 39th in the nation in overall health, and we are the 9th most obese state.) A big part of the problem is the way we pay for health care, according to Harold Miller, executive director of the Center for Healthcare Quality and Payment Reform.

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Health & Wealth Blog
5:34 pm
Wed October 26, 2011

Report Says Health Reform Will Provide Financial Boost

President Obama signs the Affordable Care Act, March 23, 2010.

In 2019, the average Missouri family will be $1,471 richer. That’s how much the average family will save on health care each year once Obama’s reform law takes full effect, according to a new study by Families USA, a pro-reform group. 

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Health & Wealth
4:09 pm
Tue September 13, 2011

Most Missourians Still Oppose Health Care Law

Americans now know less about the main provisions of Obama’s health care reform law than they did at the end of last year. That’s according to the latest monthly poll by the Kaiser Family Foundation. Here in Missouri, a majority continues to oppose the law.

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