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Two major health-care bills pass the Senate

April 30, 1996
By: Angie Gaddy
State Capital Bureau

JEFFERSON CITY -In an attempt to jab at the managed health care industry, Senate members passed two measures, diapered them up, and sent them on to the House.

The two bills would require HMOs to cover child immunization and a minimum of 48 hours postpartum hospital stay for mothers and newborns. The original Houseills would go back to the House for final debate, then go onto the Governor's desk if approved.

In a measure sponsored by Rep. Scott LakinD-Kansas City, HMOs would be required to cover child immunization before the age of five. He says he plans to bring up the Senate-approved version for House debate Wednesday.

Children in the state of Missouri are required to be immunized before entering a school system. Missouri ranks 48 out of 50 states in the number of children immunized by age 2. Only Idaho and Michigan rank lower.

The Senatelso approved a measure that would require HMOs to cover a minimum of 48 hours after a vaginal delivery and 96 hours after a caesarean section.

Sen. Jet BanksD-St. Louis, who handled the legislation in the Senate, said HMOs are releasing women and children too early after a delivery.

"It was needed because it's unfair for a woman to go into the hospital and have her in one day, give birth, and then be released the next," Banks said. "She needs to have time to heal before she goes home."