JEFFERSON CITY, Mo., December 27, 2013 – Next month, the Missouri Senate will consider a bill which would effectively cripple the implementation of the Affordable Care Act within the state.
Following the lead of South Carolina, where lawmakers are fast-tracking House Bill 3101 in 2014, and Georgia, where HB707 was recently introduced by Rep. Jason Spencer, Missouri State Senator John T. Lamping (R-24) pre-filed Senate Bill 546 (SB546) to update the Health Care Freedom Act passed by Missouri voters in 2010. It passed that year with more than 70% support.
SB546 would ban Missouri from taking any action that would “compel, directly or indirectly, any person, employer, or health care provider to participate in any health care system.” That means the state would be banned by law from operating a health care exchange for the federal government.
The bill also proposes suspending the licenses of insurers who accept federal subsidies which result in the “imposition of penalties contrary to the public policy” set forth in the legislation. Since it is unlikely that any insurer would then accept a subsidy, not a single employer in the state could be hit with the employer-mandate penalties those subsidies trigger.
In a press release, Lamping said his goal was make health care better for the people of his state. “These ideas are aimed at improving … health care decisions for Missourians.”
Following significant portions of the Tenth Amendment Center’s four-step plan to nullify Obamacare on a state-level, Fox News Senior Judicial Analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano noted that such actions were not just legal, but effective.
“If enough states do this, it will gut Obamacare because the federal government doesn’t have the resources … to go into each of the states if they start refusing,” he said.
Based on the long-standing principle known as the anti-commandeering doctrine, the legislation is on strong legal grounds. In four major cases from 1842 to 2012, the Supreme Court has consistently held that the federal government cannot “commandeer” states, requiring them to enforce or expend resources to participate in federal law or regulatory programs.
Tenth Amendment Center national communications director Mike Maharrey suggested that a large-scale effort against the Act would be coming. “Our sources tell us to expect at least ten states moving in this direction in the coming months. But that will only come true if people start calling their state representatives and senators right now. State lawmakers need to know they should introduce bills to ban the state from participating in any Obamacare programs.”
Now that it has been introduced in the state senate, SB546 will first be assigned to a committee. It will have to pass that committee before the full Senate is given an opportunity to pass the bill on to the House for concurrence.
The state legislative session starts on January 8, 2014.
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