Missouri legislators questioning statewide health care exchange

Missouri legislators are struggling to pry answers from the Missouri Department of Insurance head about the possible start of a statewide health care exchange.

by Scott Kanowsky (Jefferson City, Mo.)

By the governor's request, millions in federal funding may go to a "quasi-governmental" health care group--but state legislators, who must budget for a statewide health care exchange, were kept out of the loop.

Frustrated, Columbia State Senator Kurt Schaefer blasted Missouri Department of Insurance chief John Huff for avoiding the legislature.

"Do you understand how it's troubling for us, when a decision this large is being made, that needs to be debated and is not debated while decisions are being made outside the scope of our authority? Do you understand that?,” Schaefer said.

Huff said the state health care agency had the legal ability to accept the funds.

A statewide health care exchange will start at the beginning of 2014.