Proposition E puts health care back on Missouri ballots - Wayne County Journal-Banner Online: News

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Proposition E puts health care back on Missouri ballots

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Posted: Friday, October 5, 2012 9:21 am

Proposition E: (Official Ballot Language)

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?

No direct costs or savings for state and local governmental entities are expected from this proposal. Indirect costs or savings related to enforcement actions, missed federal funding, avoided implementation costs, and other issues are unknown.

Although the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed the constitutionality of the new federal health care law, Missouri voters will get to cast ballots in November on another of the law’s key components -- insurance exchanges.

Proposition E on the November ballot would prohibit Gov. Jay Nixon or any state agency from setting up a health insurance exchange without the approval of the legislature or the state’s voters.  

A health insurance exchange is a Web-based marketplace for consumers to compare insurance plans. The exchanges are a central part of the federal law because they are intended to help individuals and small businesses purchase insurance at an affordable rate to comply with another part of the federal law that mandates most people own health insurance.

Nixon has said in the past that his administration would not move to set up an insurance exchange by decree. But some Republican legislators say they want to make sure the Democratic governor is barred from doing so if he wins a second term, especially after the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the law in a 5-4 decision on June 28.

And tea party groups, which have strongly opposed the federal law, have signaled their support for Proposition E as a way to stave off its implementation.

But Ron Staggs, who heads the group "9-12 We The People of Monroe County" with his wife, said he expects many of his members to turn out against a law they consider anathema.

"By blocking the governor and the Insurance commission without a vote from the legislature, ObamaCare can be effectively blocked in the state of Missouri,” Staggs said in a phone interview.

That block would only be temporary. The federal law requires there to be an exchange in every state by 2014—even if it means that federal authorities have to set up an exchange without a state's permission.

That requirement is one of the reasons Proposition E has not gotten as much attention as Proposition C, a measure on the August 2010 ballot that would bar the government from mandating that people purchase insurance, another central tenet of the federal law.

Missouri voters backed Proposition C by a more than 2-to-1 margin in 2010. But at the time, the constitutionality of the federal law was still being weighed by courts around the country.

The U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling, however, makes it nearly certain that the requirement for health care exchanges will take effect unless congressional Republicans manage to repeal the law.

That has groups who supported the law, such as Missouri Health Care for All, saying that Missouri should simply prepare its own exchange.

"Prop E is really just an attempt to continue to use health care reform for political gain because there's really going to be no practical effect because health reform, the Affordable Care Act, is the law of the land,” said MHCA President Susan Talve, a St. Louis rabbi, in a telephone interview.   

This year’s ballot measure did garner attention throughout the summer as conservative politicians challenged ballot summary language crafted by outgoing Democratic Secretary of State Robin Carnahan, who is not running for re-election.

Carnahan’s original summary asked whether state law should be amended to “deny individuals, families, and small businesses the ability to access affordable health care plans” through an insurance exchange, phrasing that Republican lawmakers and Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder immediately decried as partisan.

Late last month, a Cole County circuit court judge revised the summary language to say that the governor would be blocked from creating the exchange by executive order.

Not all Republicans are opposed to the creation of a state health insurance exchange. In 2011, state Rep. Chris Molendorp sponsored legislation to set up such a marketplace. The measure passed with no opposition in the state House, but hit a wall in the Senate. 

In pushing his measure last year, Molendorp said that setting up an insurance exchange could take a year or more, so Missouri needs to start the process soon if it wants to have its own exchange in time to meet the federal deadline.

Molendorp, R-Belton, handled in the House the legislation that created Proposition E.

In an interview on the sidelines of the legislative veto session earlier this month, he said that if voters approve the measure, the legislature should craft the state’s exchange themselves rather than waiting for federal action.

He said Missouri’s insurance market has many factors that make it too unique for federal rules, including the disparities between the state’s two large metropolises and its many rural areas.

"We have, I think, a very legitimate reason to set up our own unique exchange tailored to the complexities of the Missouri health care and the Missouri insurance market,” he said.

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1 comment:

  • Carl Bearden posted at 4:29 pm on Fri, Oct 5, 2012.

    Carl Bearden Posts: 4

    Here are a couple of facts to note.

    The US Supreme Court has not determined that the Healthcare law is constitutional. They did determine that the individual mandate was a tax and therefore was constitutional. Other challenges to the act are in process.

    The healthcare exchanges are being rejected by over 27 states. The federal government is not funded and is unlikely to be funded to develop and enforce a healthcare exchange in every state.

    There have been a number of attempts to implement and exchange indirectly in Missouri taking various forms This message contains graphics. If you do not see the graphics, click here to view.

    Dear Job Creator:

    This is Herman Cain. I invite you to join me for lunch this October in Missouri, and lunch is on me. I have joined with Bernie Marcus, the co-founder of Home Depot, to create Job Creators Solutions - an organization aimed at helping you win back our culture for free enterprise.

    There is no cost to attend. We ask only that you come and learn new ways to educate employees about issues important to the survival of your company. These are invitation-only events, meant for job creators and providers (or their designee).

    Please join us in Missouri, the dates and locations are listed below. The Event is free for anyone who can demonstrate that they are responsible for paychecks other than their own.

    October 11, 2012 – St. Louis, Missouri Business Lunch – Crowne Plaza Hotel, 200 N 4th Street, St Louis. Event time: 11:30 am

    October 12, 2012 – Kansas City, Missouri Business Lunch – Crowne Plaza Hotel, 1301 Wyandotte Street, Kansas City Event time: 11:30 am

    Here's a short video in which I further explain.

    If you listened to your President belittle your contribution and wanted to shout back "Hang on, I DID build that!" (or worse), then we need you to be there. Job creators are the real community organizers - the ones that employees and fair-minded people in your neighborhoods see and trust and do business with every day.

    Winning the culture back from enemies of free enterprise is why Job Creators Solutions has been formed.

    Please join with us in preserving the American Dream for future generations. Please visit and register for this luncheon at Job Creators Solutions.

    Thank you and I look forward to seeing you in Missouri.

    Regards,

    Herman Cain
    PAID FOR BY JOB CREATORS ACTION FUND, INC.
    To unsubscribe click here

    Founded by renowned businessmen Bernie Marcus and Herman Cain, Job Creators Solutions assists employers in educating employees about policy issues and candidate positions affecting their company, job security, wages and benefits, and their families.
    Job Creators Solutions is an IRS not-for-profit 501(c)(4) organization. The organization does not endorse candidates. JCS equips those in the private sector with legal and political information to assist in educating employers and employees on important issues in the upcoming election.
    Under federal election law, employers can educate their employees about issues affecting their company, jobs, wages and benefits, and candidate positions on those issues.
    Big government proponents have, for years, effectively leveraged the support of labor unions and their members on these and other related issues. Job Creators Solutions seeks to be a voice for free-enterprise.
    Job Creators Solutions promotes a better informed public and electorate by:
    • Educating employers about the information they can provide to their employees
    • Providing employers with tools to communicate effectively and legally with employees
    The JCS program supports voter privacy and personal choice. It simply helps the employee become aware of policies that impact the vitality of the parent company and the subsequent effect on jobs, wages, benefits, and personal prosperity.
    .
    Proposition E is very much needed to be passed in order to keep these important decisions in the hands of our elected officials rather than the bureaucrats!

     

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