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“Collateral Source” on its way to governor’s desk

The Missouri House of Representatives Tuesday gave final approval to a Senate bill that would affect how damages are awarded in a trial involving medical care.

Senate Bill 847, sponsored in the Senate by Sen. Ed Emery , says that, in any lawsuit over medical care, the actual cost of the care or treatment shall not exceed the dollar amounts paid by, or on behalf of, a patient whose care is at issue — plus any remaining amount necessary to satisfy the financial obligation for medical care by a health care provider.

Projected future costs of care are not addressed in the legislation.

The legislation is considered an important step in reducing insurance settlement costs in Missouri.

The bill survived a 13-hour filibuster in the State Senate during the early weeks of the legislative session. After some changes were made to SB 847, the filibuster ended and the bill cruised through the Senate on a 25-7 vote.

Once it arrived in the House, the legislation nearly died in a House committee when four Republican members of the committee voted to kill the bill. After supporters lead by AIM explained the legislation and its impact on employers, three of the Republicans switched their vote to supporting the bill, and SB 847 went to the House floor.

The legislation passed its final vote in the House by a 95-57 margin. It now moves on to the governor’s desk for a signature or a veto.

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