Missouri lawmakers have sent to Gov. Mike Parson a wide-ranging healthcare bill. Senate Bill 106 is sponsored by state Sen. Lauren Arthur, D-Kansas City.
Current Missouri law allows doctors and doctors-in-training to exam patients under anesthesia or who are unconscious without the patient knowing it. The bipartisan plan would ban prostate, anal, and pelvic exams without patient consent – in many cases.
There would be some exceptions, including if the patient or person authorized to make health care decisions for the patient gives approval, the exam is necessary for diagnostic or treatment purposes, or a court orders the exam for evidence.
Another piece of the bipartisan plan would require health insurance companies to cover the full cost of follow-up exams used to diagnose breast cancer if an initial mammogram finds potential problems. That provision was a product of State Rep. Brenda Shields, R-St. Joseph.
The legislation would provide full Medicaid coverage to low-income women while pregnant and for one year after the end of pregnancy, instead of the current 60 days post-pregnancy. This piece is a bipartisan priority with state Sens. Elaine Gannon, R-De Soto, and Tracy McCreery, D-Olivette, leading the charge on this effort.
The package also contains a provision that would prevent the immediate loss of government benefits, like food stamps and childcare assistance, when participants get a pay raise or consider a job promotion. Their benefits would instead be reduced proportionate to any income increases. State Sen. Mary Elizabeth Coleman, R-Arnold, added this component to the bill.
Senate Bill 106 would create a program to provide forgivable loans to education expenses for health care, mental health, and public health professionals. State Rep. Kent Haden, R-Mexico, is behind this provision.
State Rep. Hannah Kelly, R-Mountain Grove, added a provision that would allow patients under 18 to have Do Not Resuscitate orders issued on their behalf by a parent or legal guardian or by a juvenile or family court.
It’s now Governor Parson’s turn to decide if he supports the package.
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