Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Another Unearned Award For Grisamore

How sad that Representative Grisamore is once again being given an award for helping children when, in reality, he does very little. Ask his many constituents that he is supposed to represent. If they do not publicly support him he won’t even return their phone calls or emails.

He misrepresents his charity and his community service. He made a six figure salary from his charity. He was given a car and a boat from his charity. Depending on the day that you speak to him, all or most of his $200,000 home was donated to him.

If he has such a passion for children with special needs why doesn’t he lead the way, through legislation and his voice, to make changes in the way that our children are educated? Is it because he is endorsed by the NEA, Superintendent’s Association, and the School Board Association? We have repeatedly met with him to discuss the many areas of concern in this area.

I could go on and on, but my blog states the truth. I would like to see Representative Grisamore start practicing what he preaches and start earning all these accolades that he receives.

"It is often easier to become outraged by injustice half a world away than by oppression and discrimination half a block from home." Carl T. Rowan

Sherri R. Tucker
President, SER (Special Education Reform)
President, Lee's Summit Autism Support Group


Rep. Jeff Grisamore Receives Donovan Award

The Children's Trust Fund (CTF) recently presented State Representative Jeff Grisamore, Lee's Summit, with the 2009 Laurie Donovan Award for his commitment and service to Missouri’s children in developing public policy and advocating for children and families.

Established in 2000 by the CTF Board of Directors, the Donovan Award is given annually to one current or retired elected official who has provided leadership in the area of child abuse prevention, family support and overall concern and advocacy for children and family issues. CTF Board member Dr. Regina Staves and CTF Executive Director Kirk Schreiber presented the award to Rep. Grisamore at the Children's Services Commission meeting, December 7.

Grisamore was elected to the MO House of Representatives in November 2006 and represents District 47 encompassing part of Jackson County, including the cities of Lee’s Summit and Greenwood. He serves as Vice-Chairman of the House Committee on Small Business and is a member of the Appropriations Committee for Health, Mental Health and Social Services; the Special Standing Committee on Children and Families; and the Special Standing Committee on Urban Issues. He was appointed to the Missouri Children’s Services Commission in January 2007 and currently serves as Chair. He also serves on the Interim Committee on Autism Spectrum Disorders charged with formulating a bill that will address the issue of health insurance coverage for children with autism spectrum disorders.

His priority legislation affecting children includes creating the Missouri Commission on Autism Spectrum Disorders, protecting children from Internet sex crimes, promoting increases in foster care and adoption reimbursement rates, supporting the rights of children with special needs, and strengthening the childcare safety registry.

Prior to serving in the House, Rep. Grisamore served as President of Children of Promise International and is the founder of the Alliance for Orphans. He continues to advocate for at risk and vulnerable children both in state and worldwide through both his public service as a State Representative and his public charitable work. He resides in Lee's Summit with his wife, Mary, and their 10 children.

The award is named after former Missouri House Representative, children's advocate and CTF Board member Laurie Donovan for her efforts to support children and families while serving in the General Assembly from 1983 until 1998. Previous award recipients include Representative Donovan, Senator Betty Sims, Senator Harold Caskey, Senator Patrick Dougherty, Senator Roseann Bentley, Representative Rachel Storch, and Governor Mel Carnahan (posthumously).

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Budget Bill Passes/Talboy States That Grisamore Doesn't Care About Children

Budget bill passes after heated debate in House
Tuesday, March 24, 2009, 3:43 PM
By Brent Martin
A bill to shore up the current state budget has passed the legislature, but not before Democrats harshly criticize Republicans for rejecting a proposal made by fellow Democrat Governor Nixon.

The House put the final touches on SCS HCS HB14 with a 91-to-67 vote and sent it to Nixon. The supplemental budget bill was held up in the Senate for a time. The Missouri Department of Transportation contended a provision calling for accountability of how the state spent federal economic stimulus funds could interfere with highway and bridge contracts. The Senate fixed the problem and returned the bill to the House.

Majority Republicans rejected a proposal by Nixon which the governor claims would provide health care coverage to an additional 20,000 children.

"Covering kids should be the one thing that this state does, the fundamental, one thing that this state does with its health care dollars," said Rep. Mike Talboy, a Democrat from Kansas City during House floor debate.

Talboy launched into a harsh exchange with Republican Rep. Jeff Grisamore of Lee's Summit, contending that Republicans in general and Grisamore in particular didn't care about children.

"You don't want to cover kids," Talboy asserted, often talking over Grisamore during their House floor debate.

Grisamore defended the Republican stance. He claimed that the governor's proposal wouldn't add any children to the state health insurance program, but would only eliminate or lower the premiums parents have to pay for children to be on it.

That explanation didn't satisfy Talboy. Grisamore said the current program offers health care to families making up to $73,000/year. He asked Talboy if we wanted that threshold raised.

"I think I made my point pretty clear on that, I would cover every kid regardless." Talboy responded

Grisamore pressed him, asking if the state should extend health care coverage to children even if their parents earn a six figure salary. Talboy answered, "Yes."

The supplemental budget bill totals $133 million. It supplements the current state budget, plugging in holes where revenue fell short. The Nixon Administration requested $939,000 be added to the bill. Administration officials said that would allow Missouri to draw down $5 million in federal funding which could be used to expand health care coverage for children.

The State Family Support Division says legislation approved in 2005 extended health care to 41,000 children, 16,000 of whom lost health care when their parents failed to pay the premiums. Currently, a Missouri family making between 150 to 185% of the federal poverty level must pay $66/month to receive SCHIP coverage. The monthly premium rises to $109 for families earning between 186 and 225% of poverty and to $165 for families earning between 226 and 300% of poverty. The Nixon Administration proposes dropping the premium requirement.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Jeff Grisamore States That District Won't Meet With Me Without His OK

As for a committee on autism and special needs in R-7, I have spoken to the Superintendent and Board, which relates to why he spoke to you. If that committee is formed, you will have one voice, although I would like to see D on it too, along with others, such as J. That will be up to R-7. Given your antagonism toward me and them, you are most fortunate you are being considered to be on such a committee. I would encourage you to consider changing your approach for the sake of LSASG's credibility and influence with R-7 and beyond. Your current approach is only isolating and alienating yourself from me and others who are doing much to help children with autism and their families.

This is in response to my email where I asked the Superintendent if Jeff Grisamore was setting up these meetings and if the district will only work through him.

"Rep grisamore is getting ahead of himself. There have been no follow up discussions about any ideas that may have been mentioned in some setting. Honestly, I do not recall discussing this committee but I may have forgotten. It happens. My invitation to discuss the issues is for you only at this time. You and I can discuss together where all of this goes from there. I hope this clarifies my intention. I do not go into this knowing where we will end up but do feel our dialogue has the potential to make us a better district and help you better understand our challenges. I am really looking forward to our meetings."

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Gov. Jay Nixon rips House leadership over autism bill — again

JEFFERSON CITY — Make no mistake: There will be a battle over an autism insurance mandate bill again next legislative session.

Gov. Jay Nixon made that clear this morning (see live Twitter feed here) at an otherwise uneventful bill signing ceremony in the governor’s office in the state Capitol.

“Next year I’d like to invite everybody back when I sign an autism insurance mandate bill,” Nixon said while signing HB525 and SB 157.

The bills that passed codify into law existing support for parents with autism through five regional centers. But what lawmakers really wanted was a bill to mandate insurance coverage for kids with autism. The bill was blocked by House Speaker Ron Richard, and Nixon made it clear he’ll use the “full force and power” of the governor’s office (and his “stunning personality”) to make sure it doesn’t happen again next session. “The bill should have had a vote on the floor of the House and it didn’t,” Nixon said. “The people deserve to see the green and reds,” he continued, referring to the color of lights on the representatives voting buttons, green for yes, red for no. There are no excuses for the House of Representatives to not take a public vote. … They don’t have any arguments against it. The only argument is that the insurance industry didn’t want it.”

House Communications - News

7/17 - Speaker Appoints Interim Committee on Autism Spectrum Disorders
Jefferson City Missouri House Speaker Ron Richard, R-Joplin, announced the creation of an Interim Committee on Autism Spectrum Disorders. This committee is charged with the responsibility of reviewing and making recommendations on issues pertaining to the regulation of insurance and other matters impacting the lives of those diagnosed with Autism.

"We have spent months gathering facts and researching what answers are most effective in aiding Missourians with Autism," said Speaker Richard. "I am tasking the members of the Interim Committee on Autism Spectrum Disorders with finding a responsible, effective solution that all sides can agree on," he finished.

Richard named Rep. Dwight Scharnhorst, R-St. Louis, to chair the committee. As Chairman, Scharnhorst is given the responsibility of directing committee meetings and ensuring that all members work together to find a meaningful legislative solution to the growing Autism epidemic.

"Representative Scharnhorst has been an advocate for Autism in the past and I am confident that he will continue to be a strong leader on the issue moving forward," said Speaker Richard.

"I thank Speaker Richard for his dedication to this matter and for asking me to chair the Interim Committee on Autism Spectrum Disorders. Our members will work together to review the facts and produce progressive measures that will improve the lives of Missouri families who deal with Autism. I am confident that through this interim committee, we will be able to move closer to a definitive solution." said Representative Scharnhorst.

The interim committee will hold hearings in the coming weeks.

In addition to Rep. Scharnhorst, the committee is made up of the following members:

Representative Dwight Scharnhorst, R-St. Louis, Chairman
Representative Wayne Cooper, Vice Chairman, Republican, Camden County
Representative Sue Allen, Republican, St. Louis
Representative Ron Casey, Democrat, Jefferson County
Representative Mike Colona, Democrat, St. Louis
Representative Sally Faith, Republican, St. Charles
Representative Jeff Grisamore, Republican, Lee's Summit
Representative Denny Hoskins, Republican, Warrensburg
Representative Tishaura Jones, Democrat, St. Louis
Representative Shelley Keeney, Republican, Marble Hill
Representative Michele Kratky, Democrat, St. Louis
Representative Chris Molendorp, Republican, Belton
Representative Gina Walsh, Democrat, St. Louis
Representative Terry Witte, Democrat, Vandalia
The plaintiff requests all documents and records of Lathrop & Gage, L.C. and its attorneys along with identification and addresses of persons with knowledge related to creating entities, plans and contracting for Governor Matt Blunt’s healthcare initiative that came to be known as Insure Missouri including all communications and advisory opinions related to the scheme and to withdrawing from or cutting Medicaid and State of Missouri funds to low income or socially disadvantaged Missouri citizens provided to Missouri officials including , Ed Martin, Patricia E. Vincent, Henry T. Herschel and State Representative Jeff Grisamore; all communications with the office of the US Department of Health and Human Services; HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt; Missouri Senator Kit Bond, former Missouri Senator Jim Talent, Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius, former Kansas Attorneys General Phil Kline and Jim Morrison, the defendants and the
nondefendant Cerner and its CEO Neal Patterson; and Irvine O. Hockaday.


Interim Committee on Autism Spectrum Disorders

I was deeply saddened to read that Jeff Grisamore was appointed to the Interim Committee on Autism Spectrum Disorders. In my dealings with Representative Grisamore, I have found him to be less than honest. He has met with my group and then taken information back to our school district. He has given false information to the school district about my group. He has even told me that the only way for me to meet with the Superintendent was through him. The Superintendent quickly informed me that Representative Grisamore was overstepping his authority.

Representative Grisamore has used our autistic children as a stepping stone in his career. I would have liked to see someone with more integrity on the committee. It also would have been nice if the Kansas City metro area were represented better. Our children needs are many and education is probably the biggest obstacle. Representative Grisamore will never address that because he is endorsed by the school district, NEA, and many, many more principal, teacher, and school administration organizations.

I would be glad to share more details, if you would like to see them. I don’t say these things without merit or proof. It is sad that our children are being used in this manner and that the only outcome will be Jeff Grisamore earning more accolades.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Quality Rating System/Child Care Subsidies

Sen. Charlie Shields’ QRS bill (SB 726) came close. Unfortunately the bill did not come to the floor in the House before the session adjourned.

We did have one other opportunity to increase subsidy, by adding an amendment to SB 885 when it was debated on the House floor. This bill, sponsored by Sen. Chuck
Graham (Boone County), made a small technical change to language related to the Children’s Services Commission, but the title and sections opened were appropriate
for amending our subsidy language that would have raised eligibility to 160% of the federal poverty level (FPL). Rep. Jeff Grisamore (Lee’s Summit) left the floor and
failed to return in time to offer the subsidy amendment.

While we did not ultimately prevail, I can not stress enough how far we came this session, both on QRS and on increasing subsidy. We have developed some great leadership on both sides of the aisle and will have two more years to capitalize on those relationships. After that, we will have 90 new members in the house and will have to begin the re-education process.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Has Grisamore Once Again Rode In On His White Horse

There is buzz around Lee's Summit that Grisamore has singlehandedly gotten a woman at the top of the liver transplant list at KU and forced Medicaid to cover. Is there no end to what miracles he can deliver? I suggest that those that believe he is the third coming check this out. With Grisamore, all is NEVER what it seems.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Who Really Filed This Bill?

From: Jeff Grisamore
Sent: Wednesday, January 14, 2009 11:57 PM
To: _Republican Representatives; _Republican LAs & Staff; _Democrat Representatives; _Democrat LAs & Staff

Subject: Insurance Coverage for Autism--Invitation for Co-Sponsors by 12 Noon on Thursday, January 15th

Dear Colleagues, On January 15th, I plan to file legislation which requires insurance coverage for the diagnosis and treatment of autism spectrum disorders. While I filed similar legislation last year (HB 2265) that was heard and passed out of the Health Care Policy Committee nearly unanimously—and was covered by the NBC Today Show—this year’s bill is enhanced by the collaboration of various autism groups, including the Thompson Center, Judevine, Autism Speaks and many other member groups of the Missouri Autism Coalition. Representative Scharnhorst and I had the privilege to address that coalition in November at their Summit in Jefferson City. There has also been dialogue with insurance companies toward the development of this bill.

Senator Scott Rupp, the Chair of the Missouri Autism Commission, has filed a Senate version of this bill and the House version I am filing is identical. Senator Rupp has encouraged me to file a House version of the bill. To review this bill in its Senate version, go to: http://www.senate.mo.gov/09info/bts_web/Bill.aspx?SessionType=R&BillID=533846.

Last year I sponsored a House bill to establish the Missouri Commission on Autism Spectrum Disorders and Senator Rupp’s version of a similar bill became law to establish the Commission that first convened last fall. Fighting and advocating for individuals with disabilities—especially autism—is among my highest legislative priorities.

With autism having reached pandemic proportions, increasing in incidence from 1 in 10,000 to 1 in 150, nearly 10 states have passed similar legislation into law and dozens more have it in the pipeline. Autism is one of 12 neurological disorders and it is the only one of the 12 that is excluded from insurance coverage.

I believe this is gross discrimination and is an emerging civil rights issue of our day. Research from other states and actuaries shows that such legislation would only raise premiums by an average of less than one half of one percent. While I normally oppose mandates, we already have more than 50 health care related mandates in Missouri law. This is one more we must pass.

This proposed law was a recommendation of the Missouri Blue Ribbon Panel on Autism. My passion is driven by my deceased daughter, Rebekah, whose organ and tissue donation has benefited Prader-Willi Syndrome and autism research. Freshman Senator Eric Schmitt also has a son with autism and Representative Scharnhorst lost a grandson who had autism.

As the Speaker, Pro Tem and Governor are all calling for bi-partisan cooperation, this bill to give families of children with autism access to insurance coverage is a great opportunity to pursue bi-partisanship.

If you would like to co-sponsor this bill, please reply by noon on Thursday, January 15th. Thank you!


Jeff Grisamore, District 47

P.S. If you would like to view a video of our press conference on last year’s autism insurance bill, please go to: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LaNkuZ-ooEc

He must have ran out of time because he didn't file this bill. Someone else did.

HB 79 - HEALTH INSURANCE COVERAGE FOR AUTISM - Lampe, SaraHouse Home Page. House Bill List. HB 79. Requires health benefit plans to include coverage for the treatment of autism spectrum disorders. Sponsor:. Lampe, Sara (138). Proposed Effective Date:. 08/28/2009. CoSponsor:. Norr, Charlie (137). etal.. LR Number:. 0480L.01I. Last Action:. 01/08/2009 - Read Second Time (H). HB79. Next Hearing:. Hearing not scheduled. Calendar:. Bill currently not on a calendar. ACTIONS. HEARINGS. CALENDAR. FISCAL NOTES. Bill Summaries for HB79. Bill Text for HB79. http://www.house.mo.gov/billtracking/bills091/bills/hb79.htm - Last Modified: 1/20/2009 8:52:12 PM

I thought that I had already seen this bill. Sara Lampe filed it. Not Jeff Grisamore.

HB 79 -- Health Insurance Coverage for Autism Spectrum Disorder
Sponsor: Lampe

This bill requires all health insurance carriers to provide
coverage to their members for autism spectrum disorder treatments
by January 1, 2010. Insurers are prohibited from denying
coverage to individuals who are diagnosed with the disorder.
Deductibles, co-insurance, and benefit limits for the disorder
cannot exceed those assessed for a general physical illness under
the health insurance plan.

Coverage for the disorder:

(1) Can be subject to exclusions and limitations such as
coordination of benefits, provider requirements, restrictions for
services provided by family members, and reviews of necessity for
services being utilized;

(2) Will be limited to the treatment plan prescribed by the
treating physician, and insurers can request a copy of the
treatment plan every six months;

(3) Will be provided for individuals who are diagnosed with the
disorder prior to turning nine years of age, and eligible
individuals can receive plan benefits and coverage until they
reach 16 years of age; and

(4) Will include behavioral therapies with a $50,000 per year
maximum benefit.

Certain supplemental insurance policies are exempt from the
provisions of the bill including life care contracts and
accident-only, specified disease, hospital with a fixed daily
benefit, Medicare supplement, long-term care, short-term major
medical of six months or less, or any other supplemental