JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (Dec. 30, 2015) – A bill prefiled in the Missouri House for the 2016 legislative session would prohibit the state from denying medical licenses based on failure to participate in a health insurance plan or system, preemptively protecting health care professionals in the state from federal regulation related to Obamacare or Medicaid.
Rep. Keith Frederick (R-Dist. 121) prefiled House Bill 1682 (HB1682) on Dec. 9. The legislation, titled the Medical Practice Freedom Act, would make demonstrated skill and academic competence the only criteria used to grant state licenses to physicians, chiropractors, optometrists and dentists.
“Licensure approval…shall not be conditioned upon or related to participation in any public or private health insurance plan, public health care system, public service initiative, or emergency room coverage.”
The legislation would not only protect medical professionals’ freedom to practice in Missouri, it would also provide protection for doctors in the state if the federal government were to create licensing requirements under Obamacare or Medicaid. While the feds couldn’t directly dictate state licensing criteria, they could tie them to ACA or Medicaid funding in some way. Passage of HB1682 would preemptively draw a line in the sand, forcing state agencies to reject federal mandates. This would protect Missouri medical professionals from facing indirect federal interference in their licensing process.
As Frederick pointed out, this scenario is not outside the realm of possibility. Several states have discussed making acceptance of Medicare part of the licensing process.
“The federal government wanted to…