A State senate committee has begun public hearings into the escalating costs of health insurance. The cost of insuring employees in Missouri and throughout the country is rising at a rapid rate. The panel heard from business owners who expressed concerns about the inability to absorb the higher premiums … and the unacceptability of employees to pick up the added costs through higher deductibles and co-pays. The Senate committee will use the input from the testimony to further address the issue once the General Assembly convenes early next month.