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Missouri House Offers Solutions To Healthcare Mandate
The Missouri House this week took action on two initiatives aimed at protecting individual’s healthcare. HB 423 which creates a “Health Care Compact” addresses the implementation of the federal mandate, by creating a multistate compact. Compacts are legal devices that states can create to allow them to band together outside of the Federal Government. With Congressional approval, these compacts can even supersede federal law and regulations, like the federal healthcare mandate.
“We still don’t know how many jobs will be lost because of Obamacare, or to what extent it will hurt individuals’ healthcare.” “As a result, we believe it is important to be proactive and find solutions that offer alternatives to the federal mandate.”
The Missouri House also passed HB 475 this week aimed at improving the transparency of healthcare costs to consumers. The bill would require healthcare providers and insurance companies to release more information regarding their costs. The belief is that by increasing the cost transparency consumer costs and quality will improve.
House Republicans also pointed out that even though Missourians approved Proposition C this August by 71%, Missouri’s Attorney General and Governor still refuse to join the other states in the healthcare lawsuits against Obamacare. The healthcare compact and transparency legislation would offer solutions to the pending healthcare issue; both now head to the State Senate for consideration.
The House Agriculture Committee heard testimony this week on Senate Bill 113 & 95, which makes changes to Prop B. Plans are to vote it out next week.
Missouri House Moves 2012 State Budget
This week the Missouri House passed their intended budget for the fiscal year 2012. Among the biggest highlights of the roughly $23 billion budget, the Republican led general assembly set aside $49 million dollars for future state savings. They also held funding for the education foundation formula whole and noted an ability to avoid any tax increases.
“I believe this budget is part of our commitment to Missourians that we would respect our tax dollars, keep spending under control, and provide for education.”
Several other steps were taken that drew aim at the Governor and some of his controversial use of state dollars in recent weeks. For instance, an amendment was added that would prohibit any flights by the Governor from being billed to other state agencies – a practice Nixon has received criticism from Republicans and Democrats for doing.
Another amendment capped the salary of any state worker after it was found that Nixon maintains six positions within his office all paying over $100,000. Republicans argued despite the need for finding and retaining good people paying such high salaries in the midst of an economic recession sends the wrong message to Missourians.
The budget now moves to the State Senate for consideration.
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