Interim Committee Debated Controversial Health Insurance Exchange
MDN Menu
MDN.ORG Mo. Digital News Missouri Digital News MDN.ORG: Mo. Digital News MDN.ORG: Missouri Digital News

Interim Committee Debated Controversial Health Insurance Exchange

Date: September 15, 2011
By: Jessi Turnure
State Capitol Bureau

A senator says she fears a dictatorship may govern the state of Missouri.
RunTime:  0:47
OutCue:  SOC

Wrap: A Senate committee came to discuss pros and cons of a health insurance exchange in Missouri, while senators received news of a Health Insurance Pool meeting going on simultaneously without their knowledge.

Republican Senator Luann Ridgeway says the executive branch could have voted on a resolution to implement a state health insurance exchange requesting 21 million dollars of taxpayer federal money before having the committee discuss it.         

Actuality:  RDGWY2.WAV
Run Time:  00:12
Description: "What are we doing here? They're just going completely over our head, the constitution's out the window, the republic is disolved and we're gonna have a dictatorship by fiat that they're going to do this regardless of what we're doing. Talk about the heighth of arrogance."
After Senator Ridgeway's announcement, Senators Jane Cunningham, Rob Schaff and Jim Lebmke rushed out of the hearing.
Reporting from the state Capitol I'm Jessi Turnure.

Witnesses expressed their dire need for health insurance exchange.
RunTime:  0:37
OutCue:  SOC

Wrap: Supporters of the health insurance exchange say its implementation will make health care insurance more affordable for those with pre-existing conditions, such as arthritis, lupus and glaucoma. 

Missouri Nurses Association member Julie Unk says she sees scenarious like this every day, where people will go to great extents to receive health care.

Actuality:  ONK2.WAV
Run Time:  00:05
Description: "I've seen some young women get pregnant just so that they can have insurance for the next 18 years."
The plan will also help many who cannot receive health care while working full-time jobs and give persons with disabilities the chance to go back to work.

Reporting from the state Capitol I'm Jessi Turnure.

Opposers of the plan described it as unconstitutional.
RunTime:  0:46
OutCue:  SOC

Wrap: Adversaries refuse to comply with the federal mandated health insurance exchange, saying it is a form of bribery and will decrease jobs.

CATO Institute Director of Health Policy Studies Michael Cannon says government price controls force insurance companies to compete on the basis of avoiding the sickest patients because if they do not compete those companies will go out of business.

Actuality:  CONAN.WAV
Run Time:  00:14
Description: "The federal government is pulling the pin on a grenade and handing it to you and saying 'will you hold on to this please?' And if you create an exchange, you're taking that grenade from them and you're gonna be holding it when it explodes and those patients are going to be in the attack ads that your opponents use against you in the next election."
Cannon warns all state officials regardless of their party to kill the plan to ensure political survival.

Reporting from the state Capitol I'm Jessi Turnure.

Missouri Digital News is produced by Missouri Digital News, Inc. -- a non profit organization of current and former journalists.