The Senate has given preliminary approval to SB 306 – legislation establishing the Show-Me Health Coverage plan, which is similar to last year’s Insure Missouri. Senator Tom Dempsey (R-St. Peters) sponsors the bill, which aims to proved health coverage to approximately 35,000 poor Missourians.
Dempsey insists the costs would not come from additional tax dollars, saying the plan would take dollars from money already received by the state from hospitals, along the lines of a proposal put forward by Governor Jay Nixon (D-MO). He adds Missourians would save money as poorer citizens would be not end up using hospital emergency rooms, which are expensive.
“We have a system right,” said Dempsey during floor debate. “Where … as the number of uninsured has climbed we have a system where those uninsured are turning to our emergency rooms for care when there are no other choices and we pay for that. The insured pay for that through cost shifting and we pay for that through other ways as well.”
One more positive vote in the Senate sends the bill to the House.