The 2008 session of the General Assembly is in its early stages but a special committee set up to look for healthcare solutions is already in full swing. The House Special Committee on Healthcare Transformation has held a series of hearings and has more scheduled this week.
Representative Rob Schaaf (R-St. Joseph), the Chair of the Committee, says many people benefit if healthcare is made available and affordable to those who do not currently have coverage. Many people who lack health insurance know they will not be turned away if they go to hospital emergency rooms. Emergency room costs are very high and are borne by taxpayers and the insured whose premiums or co-pays rise to compensate for what amounts to free treatment given the uninsured.
Schaaf believes some solutions can be found before the end of the legislative session. He adds Governor Matt Blunt’s Insure Missouri proposal is one of the ideas worth studying, though he has expressed his concerns about the cost and fact the proposal was not first run by the Legislature.