I just returned from the Chief Clerk’s office where I filed a bill to help our small businesses expand. Most of us are aware of the system of Worker’s Compensation. There is currently a requirement that any employer with 5 or more employees has to purchase Worker’s Compensation Insurance for the company’s workers.
I just returned from the Chief Clerk’s office where I filed a bill to help our small businesses expand. Most of us are aware of the system of Worker’s Compensation. There is currently a requirement that any employer with 5 or more employees has to purchase Worker’s Compensation Insurance for the company’s workers. I have felt for some time that this requirement is causing some small businesses to hold off on hiring. I recently spoke with a constituent who is a small business owner who described to me this exact situation. It is the work comp insurance requirement that is standing between a worker looking for a job and this business owner who wants to hire someone but for the insurance requirement. My bill would lift the number of employees that trigger the requirement for workers compensation insurance from 5 to 10. A lot of people talk about reducing the regulatory burden on small business; this is but a baby step in that direction.Health Care Policy Committee Meeting- If you like your doctor you can keep your doctor.
On Wednesday, as Chairman, I convened the first committee meeting of the year of the Committee on Health Care Policy. We heard HB 1145 introduced by Rep. Bill White (whose wife is a neurosurgeon). This bill is commonly described as the “Any Willing Provider” bill. It provides that an insurance company cannot create a very narrow panel of doctors as its medical panel when there are other qualified doctors in the service area who are willing to provide care for the fees that the insurance company is offering. During the hearing of this bill I asked the lobbyist for one of the insurance companies if he or his company had made the statement in recent months or years that if you like your doctor you can keep your doctor. He said that neither he nor his company made any such representations since they knew with certainty that some people were in fact going to have to change doctors. I asked the bill sponsor if he had in mind allowing patients to stay with a doctor that they know and trust if they want to like President Obama stated multiple times in the past few years. Rep. White stated that a fulfillment of that promise was certainly one of the main accomplishments to be made if this bill were to become law.
We also heard two bills dealing with abortion. Rep. Gatschenberger presented HB 1103 which protects the first amendment rights of organizations such as Pregnancy Resource Centers who provide support and information to women who become pregnant and are requesting assistance.
The other bill that dealt with Abortion was HB 1192 presented by Rep. Rocky Miller. This bill provides that if a minor child becomes pregnant and seeks an abortion that both parents are made aware of the intent to have an abortion and that at least one parent gives consent. As it is now, the only requirement in such a case is that one custodial parent has to give consent and there is no requirement that the other parent has to be informed. This bill does not require that both parents consent, but it does change the status quo to require that the other parent be informed of the intent. I personally believe that consent from both parents ought to be required. Requiring that both parents of a minor be informed even though only one has to consent is at least a step in the right direction and I favor it.
During the testimony on HB 1192, a former representative of the ACLU in a self-deprecating attempt at light heartedness referred to the organization as something that many of us may know as the Anti-Christ & Lucifer Union. I had not heard that term before. She currently represents NARAL. A Pro-Choice organization.
We heard moving testimony from a woman in her 40’s now, which had become pregnant when she was 15. She told the story of how things unfolded, and ultimately she had an abortion. Her mother did not tell her father and arrangements were made rather expeditiously for the procedure. She told us that as she walked out of the facility she knew that it was a mistake, but she was essentially powerless. She told us further that her father found out some 3 or 4 months later and he let her know that he would have been there for her and would have helped her keep the baby. She told us she currently has three children but knows that there should be four. She pleaded with us to pass HB 1192…….Such is the experience of being your representative in Jefferson City, I am privileged to hear of such compelling stories and privileged to preside over the hearings that allows such and feelings circumstances to come to light.
We did not vote on any of these measures on the day of the hearing as I believed that each issue is one that the Representatives should have time to consider before casting a vote.
There was a Martin Luther King Celebration on Wednesday evening that I had planned to attend here in the Capitol. I heard the audio folks doing to trial videos while I was strolling around taking these photos, and I heard a part of the I Have a Dream Speech
Medical Malpractice Reform
Thursday I had the privilege to stand with Speaker Jones, Rep. Neely (also a doctor) at a press conference held at Jefferson City Medical Group in Jefferson City. He spoke on the need for medical malpractice reform. In the speech, Jones called the issue the true health care crisis in the state and said, “It is time that we had a health care system that welcomed doctors and patients into our state instead of driving them out.”