Urge Nixon to sign bill
It appears that much of the local media has not studied in detail the provisions of Senate Bill 749, the religious liberty bill currently being considered by Gov. Jay Nixon. The bill ensures that the moral and religious beliefs of consumers are respected in the insurance market. This means protecting the free exercise of the rights of conscience for all individuals, not just official religious institutions.
First, SB 749 requires insurance companies to provide clear and conspicuous notice as to whether a proposed plan will cover abortions or contraceptives. Right now, consumers are often unaware of whether their plan will cover these items.
Second, if the customer objects on moral or religious grounds to paying for abortions or contraceptives, the insurance company must write a policy that excludes these items. Presently, a company can refuse to write such a policy.
Third, SB 749 ensures continued access to contraceptives for those who want insurance coverage for them. For example, if an employer opts out of including contraceptives in the company’s health plan, an employee has a legal right to purchase the contraceptive coverage directly from the insurer.
Fourth, SB 749 addresses a concern that has emerged recently where insurers “bundle” elective (surgical) abortions into their “family planning” coverage. Consumers may not know that they or their employers are paying for abortions. SB 749 makes consumers aware of this issue and allows them to exclude and not pay for this coverage if they have moral or religious objections.
Much of the media mistakenly claim that SB 749 is no more than “a slap at President Obama’s Affordable Care Act and a bow to anti-abortion rights groups.” Among those most active in public policy in Missouri, on both sides of the issue, they truly stand alone if they hold this opinion. In fact, as explained above, SB 749 defends freedom of choice and conscience for all Missourians, and this protection will be needed regardless of the United States Supreme Court’s ruling on the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act.
I urge all Missourians to call Gov. Jay Nixon’s office (573-751-3222) and urge him to sign SB 749. No citizen should be forced to carry insurance coverage on any issue one finds morally objectionable.
U.S. National Council of Catholic Women
In response to Ed Goebel’s letter, “Where are our patriots?” (Globe, June 21), we are still here.
Mr. Goebel needs to read the book titled “Lies the Government Told You” by Judge Andrew P. Napolitano. He states in his book that both parties haven’t been following the constitution. When President Obama took office he swore on the Bible to uphold the laws of the land and Constitution. He has done neither. What part of illegal immigrants does he not understand?
One of my best friends in high school and his family from Mexico came to America on green cards and became citizens. They came the legal way. Both parties have failed in this area. America was founded on immigration — legal immigration.
We are the melting pot of the world, but the decisive leadership of President Obama wants to divide and conquer poor against the rich, race against race.
Some of the things President Obama was against as a senator, he now favors. I find all of this double speak troubling.
Before you judge me as a Republican attacking the Democrats, sorry to say but I am a registered Democrat. I haven’t left the party, they left me.
We need to shrink the federal government, rewrite tax code to flat tax and get rid of loopholes. Even the IRS doesn’t understand the tax code now. Get rid of Obamacare. What is he going to mandate to us next?
It is truly amazing how far Joplin has come back from last year’s tornado. People nationwide are favorably comparing our town with New Orleans after Katrina and Tuscaloosa after its tornado as an example of how a community can come together and rebuild. But, a trip east along 26th and 20th streets tells us all that there is still a lot to be done.
With adversity comes opportunity. Many have been quoted that we will rebuild Joplin bigger and better. We have that opportunity. As part of the process of deciding Joplin’s future, we had a number of public meetings where residents suggested ways and projects for rebuilding.
Those ideas were collected, and through a competitive process Joplin’s city management has selected a master developer — Wallace Bajjali Development Partners — to be the coordinator for the rebuild projects. Wallace Bajjali has an initial list of 19 projects and has identified $800 million that can be put toward these projects. This is our opportunity to rebuild Joplin bigger and better.
There will be some who worry about putting Joplin’s future in the hands of a commercial developer — but, I believe the city has managed that well and will remain in control through its ability to approve or disapprove the individual projects as Wallace Bajjali proceeds.
On Monday night, Joplin can choose to continue down the path of being an example to the world of how a community can remake itself after disaster better than it was before. The final approval for the Wallace Bajjali contract is to go before the Joplin City Council at the council’s meeting. I have every confidence our council members will vote to approve the measure. After all, who would vote against rebuilding Joplin unless he has a better plan for the rebuild himself? Nevertheless, I encourage everyone to either communicate your support “for” the master developer contract to your City Council member or come to the meeting to voice your support in person.
Randy A. Moore