Prescription Drug Monitoring Program Bill Heads to the Senate (HBs 90 & 68)
The House gave final approval this week to legislation that would implement a prescription drug tracking system in an effort to prevent opioid abuse in Missouri. If approved by both chambers and signed into law, the bill would make Missouri the 50th and final state to implement such a system to prevent the practice of doctor shopping to obtain multiple prescriptions for valuable and addictive medications.
The bill now moves to the Senate where similar bills have hit a roadblock in previous sessions. The Senate has already approved its own version of the bill that differs significantly from the House version. However, the sponsor of the Senate bill, who has traditionally opposed the House version, recently announced that he will support the bill sent over from the House. His only request is that the House version of the bill be amended to include a provision that physicians be required to use the database.
Proponents of the House plan will now work to implement the compromise to secure final passage of the bill. The bill has already received approval from a Senate committee and appears on track to receive discussion on the Senate floor in the coming weeks.
The bill would require the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services to establish and maintain a program to monitor the prescribing and dispensing of all Schedule II through Schedule IV controlled substances. The bill would require information on these drugs being prescribed and dispensed to be reported within 24 hours. By the year 2020 the information would be updated in real time. I voted in opposition to the bill, one because I am not convinced of its effectiveness, and two, because of privacy concerns.
House Moves to Create State Innovation Waiver Task Force (HB 780)
House members have approved legislation that would create a task force charged with developing a health care reform plan for Missouri. Under the bill, the State Innovation Waiver Task Force would be created for the purpose of developing a plan that will allow Missouri to obtain a state innovation waiver from the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
In order to obtain a waiver, a state must demonstrate that its proposed health insurance reforms are as comprehensive and affordable as the federal requirements for insurance sold in its state. States receiving grant waivers may receive federal assistance to operate their reform programs in an amount that is equivalent to the amount the federal government would have paid for individuals enrolled in the state.
I supported the bill as I believe we must begin our move to a different system than we’ve had under Obamacare. A primary concern for me is to improve the level of health care, and making it more affordable.
Honoring Fire Fighters and First Responders
Hundreds of first responders from around the state made their way to Jefferson City on Wednesday to participate in Missouri’s annual Fire Fighters Day. The event is meant to recognize the importance of work done by fire fighters and first responders to keep Missouri families and communities safe.
It is an honor to serve the 51st District in the Missouri House of Representatives. Each week I will issue a capitol report to keep you informed of activities in Jefferson City. Any concerns or issues you might have are of great interest to me. I look forward to your input and thoughts, so please feel free to contact me at any time if you have questions, concerns, or ideas to improve our state government and the quality of life for all Missourians. My telephone number is 573-751-2204 or you may contact me by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for working with me to make Missouri a great place to live.