The Missouri Foundation for Health is telling businesses to be ready to implement the new federal healthcare law, despite the court challenges and Missouri politics.

Missouri Foundation for Health policy director Ryan Barker has been talking to people throughout Missouri about the federal healthcare reform what that means for them.

The federal law mandates that states come up with their own plan for a health insurance exhange by 2012 or else the federal government will create one for them. In his opinion, Missouri would be best served to create its own, but a bill by Rep. Chris Molendorp of Belton died in the Senate last session.

He says although it received unanimous consent from the House, it was killed by a few key senators in that chamber who threatened to filibuster any measure regarding federal healthcare reform.

Barker says this being an election year, he’s not optimistic about passage this year either, but hopes Molendorp resubmits a bill.

Barker says the biggest concern he’s heard from the public is just that people don’t understand the new law, and says for some, it’s just overwhelming. That’s one of the reason he’s been breaking down the cost drivers, premiums, benefits and rules.

He’s been talking to chambers and business groups throughout the state to explain the new federal healthcare mandate.

He’s also breaking down the cost premiums for individuals, which is based on income, high-risk pools, who can and cannot be penalized for certain conditions such as tobacco use, age, gender.

He says even if the U.S. Supreme Court throws out the federal health care law’s mandate that all Americans buy a policy, employers would be required to implement the rest of the law, and the timeline is tight. [Presentation slides]