Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Rep. Jason Grill Unveils Health Care Legislation for 2009 Session

Jefferson City – Representative Jason Grill, D-Parkville, this week filed a host of bills aimed at improving the health and well-being of Missourians. The health care bills filed by Rep. Grill are part of a larger package of legislation covering issues ranging from election reform to education.
One piece of legislation sponsored by Rep. Grill would set standards for each local school district to integrate a minimum of 90 minutes of physical activity per week into the instruction school day for elementary and secondary school students. Another would establish an advisory council and Office of Child Nutrition and Wellness to promote better child nutrition and wellness. Rep. Grill said his goal with the legislation is to promote fitness and well-being for young people in Missouri.

Rep. Grill also filed a bill that would require food service establishments that are one of a group of 15 or more doing business nationally to display calorie information to consumers on menus. Rep. Grill indicated the bill is similar to code implemented in New York City to fight obesity and promote healthy food choices.

“We know we must do everything we can to promote healthy lifestyles. That includes everything from providing citizens with adequate nutritional information to ensuring children engage in regular physical activity each week. The bills I have sponsored will give our state a solid start that will allow more children to grow into healthy, active adults and more adults educational opportunities with regard to health and wellness,” said Rep. Grill.
Rep. Grill also introduced legislation that would require health insurers to provide coverage for the diagnosis and treatment for autism spectrum disorder. The bill is similar to “Kate’s Law” introduced in the Kansas state legislature.

“The rate of autism has skyrocketed in recent years but the health insurance industry has not made a move to provide the coverage so many Missouri families need. This situation calls for immediate and decisive action. I hope my colleagues in the House will join with me to address this issue so children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder will receive the health care they need,” said Rep. Grill.

The three bills represent only a portion of the health care legislation filed by Rep. Grill. He has filed eight health-care-related bills in total, some of which deal with fighting type 2 diabetes and preventing tobacco sales to minors, as well as more than 25 pieces of legislation in total for the 2009 session.