Senate Bill 464 was heard in the House Health Insurance Committee today. It’s unusual to get a significant acknowledgement of e-mail contacts, but it happened today! Your efforts in responding to Action Alerts not only had an impact but was acknowledged by the chair of the House Health Insurance Committee! Great work!

The hearing began with the bill sponsor, Senator Rob Schaaf, thanking the chair, Representative Chris Molendorp, for giving the bill a hearing.  Representative Molendorp said “thank you” to Senator Schaaf and “thanks to the thousands of people who have e-mailed me thanking me as well.”

After the Senator was through explaining the bill and answering questions, it was my turn to testify in favor of the bill. I described how Senate Bill 464 was good public policy requiring any healthcare insurance exchange to be established by an act of the legislature or vote of the people – not by the Governor or un-elected bureaucrats! When I referred to the fact that I believe the committee had heard from some of our members, the chairman said, “Yes, they are very efficient in their use of e-mails!” He further stated that he recognized the intensity of our members.

Two things to take away from today’s hearing:

First, the committee did not vote the bill out. It’s not unusual to hear a bill but not vote on it the same day. However, we want to encourage the committee to vote it out next week. We will be working with the House Handler, Representative Tim Jones, to encourage Representative Molendorp to vote the bill out next week. In the meantime, if you haven’t sent an e-mail to the committee, please do so by clicking here.  If you have already sent your e-mail, be sure to share this link with your various e-mail chains and friends! It’s not often that committee members get a lot of e-mails directed specifically toward them.

The second thing to take away from the committee hearing is that grassroots activists can and do have an impact on what is going on in the legislature. Do we always get want we want? No, but we have the responsibility to express ourselves and the responsibility to hold our elected decision-makers accountable.

Healthcare has always been a topic on which we receive the best response when we call you to action. It is also the one area in which we have had the most impact starting, with encouraging the Attorney General to join in the federal lawsuit against Obamacare  – he did – and leading up to this latest effort. But we are leaving a lot on the table.

We can have similar impacts on other issues. When you see a United for Missouri action alert come through your e-mail, take a brief moment to respond. As SB464 has demonstrated since we began the session with it – you can have an impact if you and others will act.

Don’t surrender your influence to those who desire bigger government. Take action when requested. Who knows: You may get another shout-out from another committee chair!