Missouri Health Exchange Discussions

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!

Various attempts by Governor Nixon and/or the unelected bureaucrats working for him have made to prepare the way for the Obamacare insurance exchange.  Actions of at least two appointed commissions have revealed that unelected bureaucrats and the commissions attempted to establish the insurance exchange – even though it had been rejected by the legislature.

The commission was on the verge of establishing a state insurance exchange. 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.