State senator pushes for health care repeal

The resolution would ask the Missouri attorney general to join a national lawsuit challenging health care act.
Joyu Wang / Graphic Designer

Missouri Sen. Jane Cunningham, R-Chesterfield, filed a resolution asking Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster to join a national lawsuit challenging President Barack Obama's health care act that was passed March 2010. The lawsuit also questions the effectiveness and legitimacy of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

“With more than 71 percent of Missourians supporting passage of Proposition C — the highest vote among states in opposition to ‘Obamacare’ — our state’s citizens have made themselves loud and clear,” Cunningham said in a news release. “However, we need to go a step further and join the more than 20 other states that are participating in this lawsuit.”

Cunningham also said Missouri was the first state to pass a proposition barring the state government from requiring citizens to have health insurance, according to the release.

“Our state joining the ranks of others against this unconstitutional mandate will help strengthen our state’s convictions against those who want to force unprecedented requirements upon its citizens,” Cunningham said in a statement.

MU political science professor Marvin Overby said while he thinks the state Senate will pass it, he said it probably will not have much of an effect.

“These resolutions are non-binding,” Overby said. “They don’t actually require the government to do anything.”

Overby said the health care act challenges are working their way up to the federal government.

“My personal view is that the Supreme Court is likely to uphold Congress’ ability to reform health care in this manner,” Overby said. “I would be surprised if the state suits challenging the constitutionality are resolved in favor of the states.”

Overby said it is also likely the health insurance companies will file amicus curiae briefs for the health care act once it reaches the Supreme Court. He said as a result of the government requiring all citizens to have health insurance it will give them 20 to 30 million new customers.

“I don’t agree with a plan that requires a person to buy a product or plan against their will,” Cunningham said in a news release. “With an overwhelming majority, Missourians took action to protect themselves from being penalized for refusing to purchase a product or infringe upon the right to offer or accept direct payment for lawful health care.”

In January 2010, according to a news release from the Missouri Senate, Cunningham introduced Senate Joint Resolution 25, prohibiting laws interfering with freedom of choice in health care.

Proposition C, passed by a wide margin by Missouri voters in August 2010, is like SJR 25, saying the Missouri citizens are not required to have health insurance and cannot be punished for lack thereof.

Both Cunningham and State Sen. Kurt Schaefer, R-Columbia, did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

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