Missouri Says "No" Again to ACA
Missouri was one of the first states to pass the Health Care Compact. Just after Independence Day last year, Missouri Governor Jay Nixon signed the Health Care Compact into law. Now the Show Me state is taking another step to prevent forced health insurance.
When Missouri lawmakers reconvene on Wednesday, January 4, they'll begin deliberations on a state constitutional amendment banning governments from forcing individuals to carry health insurance. The Associated Press reported on the new measure last week:
Supporters say they are trying to protect Missourians from being forced to buy something they do not want and that a constitutional amendment would strengthen those protections.
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires individuals to purchase health insurance or pay a fine. In November 2011, Ohio voters overwhelmingly passed legislation similar to that being considered in Missouri prohibiting forced health insurance.
Others in Missouri are fighting their own battles against the ACA. State Senator Scott Rupp is urging his colleagues to resist setting up a state health insurance exchange. The ACA requires states to have insurance exchanges in place by 2014, or else the federal government will provide an insurance exchange for the state. Missouri has so far declined a $21 million grant from the department of Health and Human Services to be used in setting up an exchange.
The Catholic Church in Missouri is also having problems with the ACA. Last week, the Missouri Catholic Conference released its public policy priorities for 2012. Here's what they said about the ACA:
On religious liberty, the conference noted the right of individuals and institutions to follow their conscience while participating in public programs providing health care, education and social services. A new federal regulation forcing religious institutions to provide health coverage for contraception, sterilization procedures and drugs that can cause abortions violates these rights, the conference stated.
2012 is off to a flying start in Missouri, just one of many states struggling to maintain home rule over health care.
Source: "Mo. lawmakers to consider federal health care law," St. Louis Today, Dec. 30, 2011.
Source: "Rupp urges lawmakers to put health exchange on back burner," St. Louis Beacon, Dec. 20, 2011.
Source: "Missouri bishops to advocate for poor, defend marriage," St. Louis Review, Dec. 28, 2011.
Image courtesy of the Secretary of State of Missouri, used under fair use: public domain.
Steve O'Keefe is a freelance writer, author, and book editor whose writing has appeared in numerous libertarian publications.