United for Missouri and our members are grateful to the general assembly for standing with the people of Missouri by saying NO to Obamacare. Sadly, last Wednesday on the senate floor I witnessed a missed opportunity to bring more transparency to the healthcare system.

The republican majorities have been very consistent in their opposition not to expand Medicaid or establish a state exchange. These are the two main pillars of Obamacare.

The leaders in both the house and the senate have also been consistent in their desire to fix a broken Medicaid system through reforms that would benefit those who receive their healthcare and those who pay for it.

Back to last Wednesday and the senate floor. Senator Kiki Curls brought to the body her bill on reforms to Tele-medicine in the morning session. Senator Rob Schaaf offered a reform amendment that would have prohibited the practice of insurance companies putting gag orders on doctors and providers from revealing the retail prices of treatments and services to their patients. This amendment is all about transparency and good old fashion common sense.

Who buys a product or a service not knowing the cost? Only in our current healthcare system do free market principles not apply.

Senator Schaaf has been trying to bring common sense reforms to Missouri laws for over 12 years that are market based and will bring competition resulting in lower prices for the consumer.

Because of Schaaf’s amendment the bill was laid over to be brought up in the afternoon session. Between the morning and afternoon sessions the special interest went to work on the other senators.

Once again, the special interest prevailed! The Hospital Association and the insurance companies’ lobbyist turned up the heat on senators on both sides of the aisle. In the end this common sense reform was defeated. No transparency today in healthcare today.

The vote was 12 yeas to 22 no. We encourage all UFM members to contact the yes votes on this amendment and thank the senators that stood up to the powerful special interest in an effort to promote good government reform.

We would also encourage our members to contact the no votes and let them know how disappointed you are that they voted for the status quo which is failing both the people who use the system and those who pay for the system.

Let them know you are watching their votes and will not stand for anymore missed opportunities.

Jim Lembke