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Interim Senate Committee Comes to Springfield Wednesday to Gather Public Comment on Establishing a

The federal healthcare law requires states to set up an exchange, a mechanism that’s been likened to discount travel aggregator Travelocity. Those who need health insurance could go to the exchange website, input personal information and find the most affordable option to meet their needs.

Republican Senator Scott Rupp (ROOP) is chairman of the Senate Interim Committee on Health Insurance Exchanges, which consists of Republicans and Democrats. He says his committee is researching whether Missouri should set up an exchange.

Rupp says, "The federal government said if the states do not complete one, or set one up by a certain time, then the federal government is going to do this for them. So, that's basically what we're looking at doing. Number 1, should we set up an exchange. Number 2, if that's something we want to do, what should it look like. Number 3, if we don't want to do it, what's the likelihood the federal government will do something that's completely against the views and the values of the people of Missouri."

                Rupp sponsored the ballot measure that voters approved in August, 2010 rejecting the federal healthcare mandate. Now that he’s chairing the interim committee on health insurance exchanges, he says his job is to gather public input and decide how to proceed based on what people tell the committee they want. Any member of the public can attend the hearing held by Rupp’s interim committee tomorrow morning at 10 at the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce.