Judge revises wording for Mo. health care measure

Aug 29, 2012

The language used in a ballot initiative approved by Missouri Secretary of State Robin Carnahan has been tossed out by a Cole County judge. 

Proposition-E centers on the conditions for creating a health care exchange in Missouri. It read in part if the law should, quote, “deny individuals, families and small businesses the ability to access affordable health care.”  Republican Lt. Governor Peter Kinder called the language used by the Democratic Secretary of State unbelievably biased.

“This was not a close call for the judge, he ruled swiftly, the same day we had oral arguments in his court," Kinder said. "It’s about as complete a victory for our side as you can have, and it restores the integrity of our process.”

Solicitor General Jeremiah Morgan represented the Secretary of State’s office.  He argued that Kinder and other Republican plaintiffs are using Proposition E to try and block the implementation of the president’s Affordable Care Act in Missouri.

Attorney Jay Kanzler represents Lt. Governor Peter Kinder and other Republicans who filed suit.

“The choice is between a state exchange or a federal exchange," Kanzler said. "It is not a choice between having an exchange or not having an exchange. There will be health benefit exchanges come Jan. 1, 2014.”

Judge Daniel Green agreed, and the ballot language now reads: “Shall Missouri Law be amended to prohibit the Governor, or any state agency, from establishing or operating state-based health insurance exchanges unless authorized by a vote of the people or by the legislature?”

Carnahan, meanwhile, has issued a statement expressing disappointment with Judge Daniel Green’s ruling and that her office is reviewing their next move, which would likely mean an appeal to the State Supreme Court.