The debate over implementation of the healthcare exchange “required” by Obamacare continues to rage here in Missouri. The jury is still out whether it’s a checkers game or chess match. Since the World Chess Hall of Fame is located in Missouri, let’s go with chess!
We’ve written about the various attempts Governor Nixon and/or the unelected bureaucrats working for him have made to prepare the way for the Obamacare insurance exchange. Obamacare Insurance Exchange Comes Through Back Door in Missouri revealed that unelected bureaucrats and a commission attempted to establish the insurance exchange – even though it had been rejected by the legislature.
Backdoor Health Insurance Exchange Update told the story of how we were on the verge of having the insurance exchange crammed down our throats. Had it not been for the immediate action of some state senators, the federal grant would have been accepted and the groundwork for the insurance exchange would have been laid.
Senator Rob Schaaf (R-34) has introduced Senate Bill 464. The bill would prohibit the establishment, creation, or operation of a state-based health insurance exchange unless the exchange is created by a legislative act, an initiative petition, or referendum. The bill doesn’t prohibit the establishment of a healthcare insurance exchange, but it does prohibit the governor or any unelected bureaucrat from doing it!
Senator Scott Rupp, chair of the Small Business, Insurance, and Industry committee, conducted a hearing on the bill yesterday. Senator Rupp has asked to be a co-sponsor on the bill and will likely ask the committee to vote the bill out next week. KMOX (1120 AM) has a report on the hearing conducted on the bill yesterday (“Another Roadblock to Obamacare in Missouri“).
The bill has a referendum clause since it is statute and would go to a vote of the people. The governor cannot veto the bill with this provision in it.
The hearing was indicative of what you can expect in regards to the opposition. The opposition will not likely be very public. It will be underground. At some point, the senators who support the opposition will have to speak out and make some sort of argument against the bill or filibuster it in some way. The problem is they will have to, at some point, expose their support of an insurance exchange.
You will have an opportunity to encourage senators to support SB464. Our first Action Alert of the year will be on SB464 and will give you the opportunity to let members of the Senate Committee know that you support the bill. Look for it soon!