Weather-Related Disclaimer: missives from legislators concerning road conditions, although timely and important, should be considered snapspots in time. For the most recent travel information, please consult MoDOT's Web site at

except when the post starts "MO Expat", all content published on Missives from Missouri is written and supplied by the noted legislator. Said missives will not necessarily reflect the views of Kyle Hill, the operator of Missives from Missouri, and as such the operator does not assume responsibility for its content. More information
Share this missive:

07 June 2011

Denison: Health Care Transparency, Student Protection Act, Rebuild Joplin

“Reputation is what men and women think of us; character is what God and angels know of us.” – Thomas Paine

Health Care Transparency (SB 62)

One piece of legislation we passed this session that I have not mentioned in past Capitol Reports will promote health care transparency, which enables consumers to compare the price of health care services. The legislation ensures health insurance companies and providers will make information available for policyholders regarding the out-of-pocket expenses related to surgeries, tests, exams, prescriptions and other health care procedures they require. Using a tool as simple as the Internet, health insurance companies will provide an estimated cost to help consumers determine deductible, co-payment, and co-insurance amounts that would need to be paid out-of-pocket within a person’s health care plan. Missouri’s insured consumers will be allowed to view information regarding health care costs starting in January, 2014.

The idea behind this legislation is to use free market solutions to help lower health care costs. Consumers will be able to take control of their health care decisions thanks to the information that will be provided as a result of this bill. I firmly believe all Missourians should have access to the critical information that will better allow them to find a plan that fits their financial needs and the needs of their family. Ultimately, transparency will allow people to make better health care choices and financial decisions.

Amy Hestir Student Protection Act (SB 54)

Another bill passed this year will create the “Amy Hestir Student Protection Act” to prevent sexual abuse of children in our schools. The bill is named in honor of Amy Hestir – a Missouri woman who was molested and assaulted by her junior high school teacher while she was in school. While this state is filled with great teachers who have nothing but the best interests of our young people in mind, we do have some teachers who do not belong in the system. Our own Missouri Department of Education uses the term “pass the trash” to describe how bad teachers can move from district to district without their checkered pasts catching up with them. Much of this is possible because school districts are hesitant to share information regarding former employees for fear of lawsuits. The result is that teachers who have engaged in sexual misconduct with students move from one district to another without the new school district being aware of past transgressions.

All of that will change with the Amy Hestir Student Protection Act. Under the bill, school districts in Missouri will be allowed to discuss information about their employees with other school districts. Also, school districts will be liable for damages if they dismiss an employee or allow an employee to resign for reasons of sexual misconduct, and then fail to disclose those reasons in a reference request from another school district. We believe these changes are vital to protect our children from sexual misconduct committed by school employees. With this legislation we are one step closer to keeping bad teachers out of our schools and away from our young people.

Joplin Disaster

As I mentioned in the last Capitol Report, the City of Joplin has established an official Web site connecting needs with resources in the wake of the tornado. The mission of the site is to provide dependable and trusted avenues for those wishing to help those affected by the storm. You can assist by volunteering time, donating needed items or giving money. For anyone who wants to help, I encourage you to visit the site and investigate ways you can donate or volunteer to assist in the rebuilding effort.

This site shows you how. Go to:

On June 8, 2011, legislators traveled to Joplin to assist in the disaster recovery efforts. I am very grateful to be able to volunteer in this effort, and to lend a helping hand.

Interim Office Hours

Due to cutbacks, and in an effort to save the state money, my office has elected to reduce office hours during interim. Effective June 1, 2011, my office will be staffed Tuesday through Thursday, 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Normal schedule will resume December 1, 2011. If you need to call me at home, my number is 417-887-3353.

I look forward to hearing from you. If you ever have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact my office. Best wishes.

No comments:

Post a Comment