Missouri Senate moves to legally dispute federal health care law_________________________________________________________________________________
Tuesday, January 18, 2011
www.STLtoday.com Tuesday, January 18, 2011
Just one week after the Missouri House issued a stern rebuke of the federal health care reform law, the state Senate took its first step toward doing the same.
By a vote of 5-2, the Senate Rules Committee moved forward with a resolution today calling upon Attorney General Chris Koster to join a multi-state legal challenge to health care reform. The action cleared the resolution to come before the full Senate for a final vote.
If passed, the resolution would be nonbinding.
In her testimony to the committee the resolution's sponsor, Sen. Jane Cunningham, R-Chesterfield, said that the attorney general's participation in the lawsuit would send an important message to the federal government.
"The citizens of this state want to make their own health care decisions," she said. "They have spoken overwhelmingly."
But the resolution was met with resistance by dozens of members of the public, who attended the meeting to oppose the resolution.
Sen. Jolie Justus, D-Kansas City, echoed their discontent with the measure. She took special exception to Cunningham's assertion that it would not cost the state any money to sign on to the lawsuit.
"I'm going to have to do some of my own checking, because I find it absolutely unfathomable that Missouri could get involved in a federal lawsuit and it wouldn't cost us a penny," Justus said. "That just doesn't make any sense."
The Senate committee vote coincided with the start of debate by members of Congress today on a Republican-led initiative to repeal health care reform. The federal measure could come to a vote as early as tomorrow, the Associated Press reported.
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