Keith Frederick

Alex Smith / KCUR

Over a fifth of Missourians, especially those who live in rural areas, don't have adequate access to doctors, according to the Department of Health and Human Services.

Now the state Legislature has approved a plan to address the problem by creating a new kind of health occupation.

The first such plan in the country, it has pitted health providers against one another amid concerns about its effect on the health of patients and the dilution of professional standards.

Medically underserved

Marshall Griffin / St. Louis Public Radio

The Missouri House has passed legislation that would allow motorcyclists to ride without wearing helmets.

House Bill 555 would lift the mandatory helmet requirement for motorcycle drivers and passenger who are at least 21 years of age or older.  It would remain in effect for those under 21.  The sponsor is Republican Rep. Eric Burlison from Springfield, he says the data he’s seen indicates that most motorcycle deaths are from torso injuries, not head trauma.