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Koster calls federal insurance mandate unconstitutional

Monday, April 11, 2011 | 9:48 a.m. CDT; updated 10:34 a.m. CDT, Monday, April 11, 2011

JEFFERSON CITY — Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster said Congress overstepped its constitutional powers when it mandated that most Americans have health insurance or pay a penalty.

Koster said he filed a document Monday with a federal appeals court supporting a Florida lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the new federal health care law.

The action by Koster, a Democrat, comes after Missouri voters last year passed a measure prohibiting people from being required to have health insurance. It also comes after Missouri's Republican-led House and Senate passed resolutions urging Koster to defend the new state law and challenge the federal health care law.

Koster said he thinks the individual insurance mandate can be struck down while allowing the rest of the federal health care law to remain in place.

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