Health insurance exchange
6:11 pm
Fri August 17, 2012

No temp. restraining order yet over health care exchange ballot language

A Cole County judge heard arguments Friday on whether to issue a temporary restraining order against Missouri Secretary of State Robin Carnahan (D).


Carnahan and Republican leaders are sparring over the language used in a ballot initiative regarding health care exchanges.  Lt. Governor Peter Kinder and GOP lawmakers accuse Carnahan of using misleading language in order to influence voters to defeat the ballot question in November.  Attorney Jay Kanzler represents the plaintiffs.


“Secretary of State Carnahan's language talking about denying families and individuals access to affordable health care frankly doesn’t even come close to describing, in fact, what the ballot initiative would do,” Kanzler said.


Kinder and other Republicans have stated that the initiative is designed to block Governor Jay Nixon (D) and any future governor from creating an exchange by executive order.  Attorney Jeremiah Morgan argued for Carnahan, telling Judge Daniel Green (R) that the language is accurate.


“There’s no question that efforts are being made to undermine the federal Affordable Care Act," Morgan said.  "Whether we, as a policy matter or a political matter, we agree with or do not agree with (it)...this summary is attempting to do that.”


Kanzler argued that a restraining order is needed to block Carnahan from certifying the ballot summary before a full hearing on the merits of the case can be held.  That hearing is scheduled August 28th, the same day the Secretary of State is scheduled to order Missouri’s ballots printed for the November general election.


Judge Green was expected to rule today on the temporary restraining order request, but he did not.