KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Missouri To Hold August Vote On Insurance Mandate

KWMU/St. Louis Public Radio: "Missouri will be the first state to let citizens vote on whether to defy the federal health care law signed by President Obama. The Missouri House today passed legislation authorizing a referendum stating that citizens and employers cannot be forced to participate in any public or private health care system. It's designed to challenge the new health care law that requires most Americans to have health insurance or face fines" (Griffin, 5/11).

The Associated Press: On primary day, Aug. 3, voters will consider a referendum "stating that people and employers cannot be compelled to have health insurance nor penalized for paying for health care out of their own pocketbooks. ...  But the legal impact of the state measure is questionable, because courts generally have held that federal laws trump those in states."

"Laws have already have been enacted in Arizona, Idaho and Virginia, and proposed state constitutional amendments are to appear on the November ballot in Arizona, Florida and Oklahoma, according to the American Legislative Exchange Council, a nonprofit group that promotes limited government and helped coordinate some of the state measures" (Lieb, 5/11).

Columbia Daily Tribune: "Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle said the bill, if finally implemented, would lead to a court case on constitutional issues. … Because the proposed referendum would become part of state law, even if approved by voters, the legislature could come back later to repeal it. When voters consider the referendum in August, they will also be considering the method of how insurance companies can be dissolved" (Ganey, 5/11).

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