As the United States Supreme Court prepares to hear arguments on the constitutionality of Obamacare, activity is heating up on issues connected with it. Case in point – the Obamacare insurance exchange was on full display in the Senate and House yesterday.
Senator Joe Keaveny (D-4) offered an amendment on an insurance bill to implement the insurance exchange, but fortunately, it failed on a voice vote. The Southeast Missourian has the story (“Mo. Senate votes down health insurance exchange“). Regardless of what you think about an insurance exchange – to be sure, the Obamacare insurance exchange is not the way to go – it deserves more debate and discussion than being dropped as an amendment to a bill on the floor of the Senate.
The House also saw action on the Obamacare insurance exchange front. During deliberations on the budget, an amendment was offered to accept $50 million of federal funds for the purpose of updating the “Medicaid computer system.” Originally, the House Appropriations Committee added the funding to its bill. However, after further checking, it was discovered that the funding was indeed intended to be the precursor for establishing the Obamacare insurance exchange. Fortunately, the House rejected the amendment to the budget bill on the floor last night.
The budget will be sent to the Senate, and you can be assured that another attempt to add the funding will be made!
So far, the legislature has moved slowly in establishing any insurance exchange. Work on an insurance exchange precedes Obamacare, but the so-called Affordable Care Act is neither affordable nor does it contain the requirement for a free-market approach to an insurance exchange. You would think all of this would be sufficient indication to the Governor and his unelected bureaucrats that they shouldn’t be doing anything to implement the Obamacare insurance exchange.
If you are one of those who think that – you are wrong!
Information I’ve been provided indicates that the Department of Social Services, Director’s Office and Missouri HealthNet Division have been busy working on putting everything in place for the establishment of the Obamacare insurance exchange. In fact, the information I’ve received is that there is a person in the director’s office spending most of his time working on this effort. There have been many committee meetings of state employees representing various state agencies. This effort has been going on for at least a year or two, despite the legislature’s clear indication that they are not inclined to do an exchange and certainly not the Obamacare exchange! I don’t know about you, but I must have missed the public input part of this clandestine effort.
So what can we do about the Governor and unelected bureaucrats ignoring the will of the people (most of us remember Proposition C which passed 71.1%) and that of our elected officials? Senate Bill 464 is the answer. SB464 prohibits the Governor and his unelected bureaucrats from establishing an insurance exchange without an act of the legislature or a vote of the people!
SB464 has passed the Senate and has been referred to the House Health Insurance Committee. We have an action alert for you to encourage the House to take up and pass SB464, YOUR ACTION NEEDED: Encourage the Missouri House to Hear and Vote Out SB464!
We first sent this out last night and already have over 500 e-mails to state representatives. Please share this with your various e-mail lists and encourage others to let their state representative know that they want SB464 to be voted on and placed on the ballot!