TODAY'S QUESTION: Should Nixon and Koster join the lawsuit against the federal health care law?

Wednesday, January 12, 2011 | 11:52 a.m. CST; updated 1:46 p.m. CST, Wednesday, January 12, 2011

COLUMBIA — The Missouri House voted to call upon Gov. Jay Nixon and Attorney General Chris Koster, both Democrats, to join a lawsuit filed by 20 other states challenging the federal health care law passed by Congress last year, according to a previous Missourian report.

Missourian reporter Alysha Love outlined how the resolution calls into question the constitutionality of the law:

  • Misuse of the Commerce Clause, which the existing lawsuit states does not authorize the federal government to mandate health care.
  • Violation of the 10th Amendment, which allows the federal government no authority beyond the powers granted in the Constitution, such as mandating states to expand Medicaid.
  • Inability of the states to bear the increased costs to Medicaid without reimbursement from the federal government.

Koster and Nixon are not legally bound to the resolution, but are being called to join the lawsuit or begin their own.

In July, Republican Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder filed a suit against members of the Obama administration who enforced the provisions of the law.

Rep. Jean Peters-Baker, D-Kansas City, said the only effect of the resolution is the state's cost in helping pay for the lawsuit, which she said will proceed regardless of Missouri's participation.

Should Gov. Nixon and Attorney General Koster join the lawsuit against the federal health care law?

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Corey Parks January 12, 2011 | 11:57 a.m.

Its not that they should join the lawsuit but they should have started it. Those that are not small business owners or those that have never lived outside the United States can not truly understand a lot of the bad that is attached with the bill.

(Report Comment)
Nelson Richter January 12, 2011 | 3:19 p.m.

How much time and effort and $ will this cost the state of Missouri? Already got rid of all the evil strippers and nude dancers so this gives them something else to waste their time on. How about jobs, economy, education, or is these just too hard to address?

(Report Comment)
Corey Parks January 12, 2011 | 9:27 p.m.

Actually Mr Richter. I remember earlier this summer when the suits were first brought up by Nixon they would not cost the state anything. All financing will come from private donors.

(Report Comment)
Ann Edwards January 12, 2011 | 10:08 p.m.

Absolutely not!

(Report Comment)
Christopher Foote January 13, 2011 | 9:42 a.m.

Actually, small businesses, and those that work for them, appear to be benefiting from the new law. Here's the LA Times:

"Major insurers around the country are reporting that a growing number of small businesses are signing up to give their workers health benefits...In the six months after the law was signed in March, UnitedHealth Group Inc., the country's largest insurer, added 75,000 new customers who work for companies with fewer than 50 employees... And Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas City, the largest insurer in the Kansas City, Mo., area, is reporting a 58% jump in the number of small businesses buying insurance since April, the first full month after the legislation was signed into law."
This occurred in an economy with 9.6% unemployment, which was rather surprising.

I would also note that health economists predict that repeal of the law will actually cost in the neighborhood of 250,000 jobs annually (data from Harvard Economist David Cutler:

Perhaps an opponent of the law could point to data demonstrating that the law is deleterious to small businesses, or in the words of the current speaker of the house "You have to understand that in my opinion Obamacare is the biggest job killer we have in America today."

I would add that if Nixon or Koster think the law is unconstitutional they should sign on to the lawsuit. However one should judge the law on its merits (or lack thereof) and not on the misinformation propagated by those seeking political advantage.

(Report Comment)
Nelson Richter January 13, 2011 | 10:13 a.m.

The only reason that the GOP is opposed is that they didn't pass the law plus how much money from the health care industry profits has gone been paid. If one goes back to social security being passed, same comments, same attempts.
Also if the costs of the law suit are being covered by individuals, do those individuals have an agenda?

(Report Comment)
Jimmy Bearfield January 13, 2011 | 12:21 p.m.

If someone cannot afford health insurance today, how will he/she suddenly be able to in 2014?

(Report Comment)
Melinda Lockwood January 16, 2011 | 9:04 a.m.

Because 71% of Missourians voted against the health care mandate, they should. They are supposed to represent the will of the people.

(Report Comment)

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