A Rare, Wonderful Opportunity To Deliver Better Health Care To Missouri’s Underserved
In February, I wrote at length about an important charitable organization, Remote Area Medical (RAM), which delivers free health care to those who otherwise could not get it. Indeed, RAM and organizations like it have helped patients all around the world. As I found out from RAM’s founder Stan Brock, however, excessive Missouri licensing laws have hampered his group’s mission to help the needy in this state.
Mr. Brock told me that RAM wanted to do more in Missouri, but onerous state requirements — such as requiring licensed in-state medical personnel to participate in a clinic before RAM could provide its services — had stifled his organization on several occasions. Most recently, he said, Missouri regulations prevented RAM from providing free eyeglasses to the southwest corner of the state.
Well, Missouri may be on the verge of rectifying the problem if one bill gets to a final vote. Introduced by Rep. David Sater, House Bill 1072 appears to adopt much of the same legislative language used to facilitate volunteer medical services in Tennessee, which was a pioneer of the volunteer health services law. Better still, the legislation passed through the Missouri House in March and is now close to a vote in the Senate.
Given the movement in the health insurance exchange policy field and the Senate’s earlier allowance for a grade school optometrist mandate to lapse, this session may just be a banner one for health care policy in the state of Missouri. For more information on how burdensome occupational licensing laws affect Missouri, please check out our work in the area, which you can find here, here, and here.