Health Law Critiques Abounded Wednesday, From A Missouri Court To Capitol Hill
Missouri Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder became the latest state official to file a lawsuit challenging the health overhaul law Wednesday, the Associated Press reports. "Numerous states have challenged the overhaul since it was signed into law last March. Missouri's lawsuit - filed by Kinder in his personal and official capacities and by three other residents - asserts that the federal government cannot compel people to buy a product and cannot require state officials to participate in enforcing a 'federal scheme.'" Kinder is seeking donations to privately pay for the lawsuit (Blank, 7/7).
"Specifically, the suit filed in Cape Girardeau contends that the health care bill is unconstitutional because it could eventually require Missouri to raise taxes," The Kansas City Star reports. "It also challenges mandates requiring individuals to purchase health insurance and reductions to Medicare Advantage, an existing government-sponsored supplemental insurance program for the elderly" (Noble, 7/7).
Kinder is joined in the lawsuit by three Missouri women who are also plaintiffs, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. One, Dale Lee Morris, is a 74-year-old who says the law would reduce her access to health care because of the Medicare Advantage cuts. "The other plaintiffs in the Kinder lawsuit are Samantha Hill of Johnson County and Julie Keathley of Stoddard County. Both have GOP connections: Keathley is the widow of Michael Keathley, the former head of the Office of Administration under ex-Gov. Matt Blunt; Hill is a spokeswoman for a Republican candidate for Congress" (Messenger, 7/8).
Criticism of the law also continued on Capitol Hill, where "Sens. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) and John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), both medical doctors, released a 32-page report on Wednesday to mark the 100 days since enactment of the healthcare reform law," The Hill reports. "Bad Medicine: A check-up on the new federal health law," as the report is titled, argues that health costs will continue to rise under the changes (Pecquet, 7/7).
Another critical report also emerged Wednesday, this time from the official IRS watchdog, the National Taxpayer Advocate, The Washington Post reports. "The agency, which will be responsible for administering major aspects of health insurance finance, is neither structured nor funded to effectively oversee social programs. In addition, a tax reporting requirement in the health-care law 'may impose significant burdens on businesses, charities, and government agencies,' the advocate service reported." The advocate acts as an independent ombudsman, but is part of the IRS (Hilzenrath, 7/7).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.