Health Care Legislative Agenda

Work to retain as much federal tax paid by Missouri employers and employees as possible:

The Missouri Chamber does not support federal mandates in the healthcare system, however at present we are faced with implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The ACA gives states the option of implementing the lawís Medicaid expansion. We support this expansion coupled with market based reforms to the MoHealthNet program. Specific reforms including incentives for wellness, stronger personal accountability, and metrics in the system are encouraged. While controversial, Missouriís choice to maximize coverage to those newly eligible would result in an estimated return of $8. 3 billion in Federal funds to Missouri through 2021. These are funds that Missouriís employers and workers have contributed with their Federal taxes. Failure on the part of the State to take advantage of this Federal investment increases the likelihood of potential liability by the Stateís employers for increased taxes imposed by the ACA and the continued cost shifting of health care premiums now paid by Missouriís employers to cover the cost to providers of the uninsured.

Seek implementation of prescription drug monitoring:

To reduce the cost associated with prescription drugs the MO Chamber should seek the creation of a prescription drug monitoring program as currently Missouri is the only state yet to pass prescription drug monitoring legislation. Prescription drug abuse and diversion increases the cost associated with prescription medication. A monitoring program will reduce prescription drug abuse and provide a means of oversight to ensure that Missouri employers are not paying for abuse of prescription drugs.

Oppose federal restrictions on state's utilization of provider assessments:

 States like Missouri should have the opportunity to choose how to fund its healthcare system. In Missouri, and 48 other states and the District of Columbia, provider assessments have become a positive investment in the coverage of healthcare. Billions of dollars are at stake and tens of thousands of employees depend on this funding mechanism to ensure quality care and to support the workforce who provides it. While true entitlement reform may be one measure toward future fiscal success, it is not wise to drastically cut the utilization cap for provider assessments, shift this cost to the states and private employers while disproportionately impacting Missourians. Such proposals will cause severe job loss and affect the quality and delivery of healthcare in Missouri.

Oppose making pseudoephedrine (PSE) by prescription only and continue support for the real-time Electronic Tracking System (NPLEx):

 Individual choice and competition in the marketplace are stifled with excessive regulation. Some criminals use PSE to make methamphetamine. However, law abiding citizens in Missouri should not be punished by being forced to pay for a physician visit to purchase PSE. PSE was approved by the FDA as a safe and effective non-prescription drug. The real-time electronic tracking system provides law enforcement with an effective tool to track the criminals and still allow legitimate patients to get PSE without a prescription. Making PSE prescription only will also add to the healthcare costs of employers. Therefore, we support the current system of electronic tracking.

Limit government-mandated health care benefits:

Each year numerous legislative proposals are filed that would mandate health care coverage for certain health care benefits. While some may be well-intended, these mandates can drive up the cost of health care, potentially forcing some employers out of the health insurance market. The Missouri Chamber, while encouraging decreased health care costs and increased employer access to affordable quality health care, is generally opposed to health care benefit mandates and provider mandates. We further encourage the review of existing mandates.

Implement health information technology:

 The Missouri Chamber encourages the development and usage of health information technology to allow the delivery of health care services to be less costly and more efficient. Such a system will allow information concerning a patientís health history to be readily available and will assist in reducing the number of incidents of health service, waste, errors, fraud and abuse. Accessibility will also lead to increased responsibility of individual health decisions. Individual patients should also have access and personal ownership of their health-related data in electronic format and at no time shall this information be comprised for marketing purposes.

Expand health care consumer education and transparency:

 The Missouri Chamber will work to ensure that health care consumers can readily access health education and consumer information so they can evaluate and compare the pricing and quality of health care services and health insurance products, in order to make informed decisions about their options.

Oppose pharmaceutical marketing and sampling restrictions:

Oppose legislation that would add costly new regulations and reporting requirements for the marketing of prescription drugs.

Implement medical malpractice and non-economic damage caps:

The Missouri Chamber supports capping non-economic damage awards to individuals suing health care providers for medical negligence. Capping payouts will help to reduce skyrocketing insurance premiums for providers and lower health care costs generally as well as provide an opportunity for health care professionals to practice in Missouri.