Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder files lawsuit against federal health care law

JEFFERSON CITY — Calling new health care regulations passed by Congress a violation of the U.S. and Missouri constitutions, Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder today filed a lawsuit seeking to overturn sections of the sweeping law that mandates individual health care insurance coverage.

Kinder and three Missouri plaintiffs — including a St. Louis woman — argue that the law raises health care costs, decreases their coverage, and places unconstitutional mandates on citizens.

The lawsuit was filed by Kinder in his official capacity as lieutenant governor, as well as his personal capacity as a citizen of the state. Kinder had originally planned to join the lawsuit filed in Florida by attorneys general in other states who are opposed to the federal law.

Kinder has said the lawsuit costs will be borne by private donations made to a non-profit corporation he set up. His spokesman, Gary McElyea, said Kinder plans to make the donors public unless they request anonymity. The list of donors has not yet been made public.

“This lawsuit challenges those provisions of the federal health care law which actually reduce Missourians access to affordable health care and which violate our United States and Missouri state Constitutions.” Lt. Governor Kinder said. “Many Missourians will lose the options for health insurance they currently enjoy. Missourians have less health care coverage after the federal law was passed than they did before it was passed. The Missourians joining me in this case – and many thousands like them – now have less and more expensive health care.”

The other three plaintiffs in the lawsuit are Dale Morris of St. Louis County, Samantha Hill of Johnson County, and Julie Keathley of Stoddard County.

Morris qualifies for Medicare Advantage, the supplemental Medicare coverage that is being reduced under the new law. Keathley’s 8-year-old son suffers from autism, and the lawsuit argues that Missouri’s new autism insurance mandate is stronger than the federal law, and therefore the federal law diminishes her health care coverage.

Ironically, Gov. Jay Nixon was in Cape Girardeau today — where Kinder filed the lawsuit — bringing attention to the state’s autism mandate, which he signed earlier this year.

Democrats have criticized Kinder’s lawsuit as a campaign stunt. In a statement, Missouri Democratic Party spokesman Ryan Hobart criticized Kinder for not yet releasing the list of his donors.

“For months he has refused to disclose his donors. Missourians deserve to know if Peter Kinder is allowing his office to be subsidized by the insurance industry and its lobbyists or candidates who want this law repealed. Instead, up to this point, all of that information has been hidden from the public, even though Lieutenant Governor Kinder is using state resources to publicize his actions,” Hobart said.

During the General Assembly, Republicans pushed a bill that would seek to allow Missourians to opt out from the mandates in the federal bill. That law passed, putting on the Aug. 3 ballot a proposition that will call for Missourians to vote on the opt-out.

A lawsuit has been filed seeking to block that vote.

I wear many hats but history, economics and political observance have always been a passion. I am a graduate of the University of Cincinnati College of Business with a degree in Information Systems and Digital Business with a minor in European History. I work for a small mom-and-pop IT consulting and software design company. We deal in servicing mostly government funded non-profit mental and behavioral health care agencies in the state of Ohio. In this I deal with Medicaid and Medicare funds and have a little insight on the boondoggles of government there. Thankfully the undemanding nature of my daily profession gives me ample time to read and stay aware of our current state of affairs which I find stranger than fiction in many instances. In addition to being in the IT field, I have also been self employed with a small contracting company so I might know a thing or two about the plight of small business that employs 71% of the American workforce. I however don't draw my knowledge from my day jobs, which I have had a few; I draw it from an intense obsession with facts and observation about the world in which I live. I do have formal education in things such as history, economics and finance particularly as it pertains to global issues, but I have come to find much of what I thought I knew from the formalities of a state university I had to unlearn through much time and independent research. I hope you enjoy what I bring you which is not often heard in the mainstream news outlets. I would like to think my own personal editorializing is not only edifying but thought provoking while not at all obnoxious. That last one may be a hard to achieve.

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