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25 March 2010

Gatschenberger: Federal Health Care Legislation, Coercion Legislation Passes, Fun Facts


This link is an eye opener… take a look at the US DEBT CLOCK at

You can see each and every source for the information contained in the clock by passing your cursor over the specific numbers.  Sources for the clock include:  CBO, Federal Reserve, US Treasury, US Census, OMB.


House Republicans Oppose Federal Takeover of Health Care and Seek to Safeguard Missourians

I have received numerous phone calls, letters and emails from Missouri citizens expressing their outrage with the health care legislation that President Obama, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid have pushed through Congress.  I want my constituents to know that I share their outrage and in the House we are working to protect our citizens from these harmful federal mandates.

On Sunday evening, when the United States House of Representatives passed their health care bill, yielding over a thousand pages, they immediately took away our basic rights.  Congress and the President have ignored the cry of the American people and they pushed their own agenda – leaving our citizens to pick up the expensive tab.

We are now required to purchase health insurance whether we want to or not.  If we don't, there will be an annual fine close to $700.  Businesses are also affected by the bill.  They are forced to provide insurance to all employees, if their business employs over 50 people.  It doesn't stop there.  The bill also provides tax payer dollars for abortions.

There is a fine line when it comes to mandates, and the federal government has crossed that line.  It was difficult to watch the votes roll in the United States House of Representatives on Sunday evening.  Even though no Republican voted for the bill, the Democrat majority found the votes they needed to pass their bill.

The federal health care bill costs approximately $940 billion, which is a concern as we face such a serious economic depression, not to mention our national debt which has shot up into the trillions.  Someone has to pick up the tab, and that someone is you and me.  We will be taxed through penalties if we refuse to buy health care and adhere to federal guidelines.

Among many of the taxes set forth, a couple stand out:
  1. 3.8% tax on investment income for families making over $250,000 and individuals making over $200,000 starting in 2012
  2. 40% excise tax on so-called "Cadillac" insurance plans, which are essentially high-end insurance plans
I have no direct influence over the actions of our President and Congress, but I do have a say when it comes to what we do in the Missouri House of Representatives to protect citizens from federal health care mandates.  Why should the government dictate what you must and must not do – especially when it comes to your own health care insurance?

On the first day of this year's session, we introduced the Health Care Freedom Act [HJR57] on the floor of the House and approved it for final passage in early March.  Sponsored by Tim Jones, R – Eureka, it protects Missourians from health care mandates sent to us from the federal government.  I have introduced HCR 39, HCR 9, HJR 74, and HB 2145… all of these bills have to do with protecting your rights when it comes to healthcare.  (HCR's are House Concurrent Resolutions… they are passed by both the House and the Senate and have the effect of law.  HJR's are House Joint Resolutions… they place a proposed amendment to the State Constitution before the voters for approval or they approve an amendment to the United States Constitution.  HB's are House Bills).

The Health Care Freedom Act is a proposed constitutional amendment that gives individuals and employers the opportunity to pay directly for lawful health care services without being subject to federal penalties and states that the purchase or sale of health care insurance in private health care systems cannot be prohibited by law or rule.

This Health Care Freedom Act is vital to the prosperity of the state of Missouri and our citizens.  If it passes the Senate, it will go to a vote of the people.  That means you will have the power to voice your support or opposition for this resolution.

Thirty-three states have filed legislation to oppose the federal health care legislation, and we are hopeful that you will join us in this fight.  States should retain the power to regulate health care and allow their citizens the freedom to choose between health care options in the open market.

House Passes Bill Protecting the Lives of the Unborn and Expecting Mothers

I am firmly planted in my belief that we should do everything in our power to protect the sanctity of life.  In addition to the lives of the unborn, we must remember to shield expectant mothers from harm.  On Monday, we perfected House Bill 1327 and 2000, which changes the laws regarding the consent requirements for obtaining an abortion and creates the crime of coercing an abortion.

Many times, women who seek to get an abortion only do so because they are forced or pressured to do so by their husband, boyfriend or any other outside force.  This is wrong and should be against the law.

If a person is found guilty of this despicable behavior, he or she will be subject to face a class A felony with a maximum prison term of 10 years, a fine of up to $10,000 or both.

The responsibility does not just fall on the coercer, however, but the doctor performing the abortion as well.  Any person who performs or induces an abortion and knows that the pregnant woman has been coerced will be guilty of a class C felony (except in the case of medical emergency).

The bill also takes steps to protect the lives of the unborn through requiring a thorough checklist of items that must be completed before an abortion is performed or induced.

Abortions cannot be performed or induced without the voluntary, informed and uncoerced consent of the expecting mother at least 24 hours prior to the abortion.

The physician must provide orally and in writing the following items:
  • The physician's name
  • Medically accurate information including the abortion method, any risks associated with the method being performed, alternative to abortion and follow-up care information.
  • The gestational age of the unborn child
  • The anatomical and physiological characteristics of the unborn child
Physicians must also provide prominently displayed statements encouraging a pregnant woman seeking an abortion to contact agencies that help women carry an unborn child to full term and statements that inform the women that no one can coerce a person to have an abortion.

A facility must maintain a toll-free, confidential, 24-hour hotline telephone number for callers to obtain regional information about abortions, risks and alternative to abortions.  This information must also be available on the facility's website.

Through these important steps, we are hopeful that expecting mothers will be fully informed about abortion and the risks that may result from the procedure.  Most notably, we hope that this legislation will save lives of the unborn and allow expectant mothers to have the care, attention and resources they need to carry their unborn child to full term.


As always, please let me know your thoughts about these or other matters of concern by calling my office at: (573) 751-3572 or by emailing me at chuck{dot}gatschenberger{at}house{dot}mo{dot}gov


The world first skyscraper –Louis Sullivan's Wainwright Building was built in 1897 in St. Louis

The nation's first interstate highway was constructed here (I-70)

The Gateway Arch – at 630 feet – is the nation's tallest man-made monument.

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