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Gov. Greitens announces resignation

A special session called by the legislature to look into alleged wrongdoing by Gov. Greitens will now come to an end.

With the governor’s decision to resign from office, the Special Investigative Committee on Oversight will now wrap up its work, and there will no longer be a need for members of the House to consider any potential recommendations from the committee. The governor will leave office effective Friday, June 1 at 5 p.m. and Lt. Gov. Mike Parson will then take over as chief executive of the state.

Let our prayers go out to Gov. Greitens and his family as well as to Lt. Gov. Parson and his wife as they step to take on new responsibilities.

“I believe the governor has put the best interest of Missourians first by choosing to resign. This is a serious and solemn occasion that reminds us that our state and our duty are bigger than any one person or party.”

Let us all get behind our new Governor to move our state forward for a better tomorrow.

Protecting Missourians from Excessive Emergency Room Charges (SB 982)

This legislative session the General Assembly passed an important consumer protection bill meant to ensure that insurance companies don’t deny coverage for Missourians who make a necessary trip to the emergency room. The bill is in part a response to a policy implemented by an insurance company that denied emergency room coverage based on the resulting diagnosis instead of the symptoms that sent the patient to the emergency room.

To address this issue, the legislation specifies that an ailment is considered an “emergency medical condition” if the person has sufficiently severe symptoms, regardless of what final diagnosis is given. This “prudent layperson” standard makes it clear that if a person with an average knowledge of health and medicine believes immediate medical care is required, the emergency room visit should be covered by health insurance.

The bill also makes an important change meant to keep patients from being victimized by “surprise billing.” This occurs when patients go to an in-network medical facility, but the doctor they see is outside the network. The bill will ensure patients are not put in the middle of these billing decisions for emergency room services. In effect the bill creates a system that allows providers to negotiate directly with insurance companies for a fair rate. This removes the need for patients to serve as middlemen and allows them to instead focus on obtaining the care they need.

Representative Rick Francis, 145th District Representative

Representative Rick Francis, 145th District Representative

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