health care

(via Flickr/Jennifer Boriss)

A Missouri judge has scheduled two hearings this month on a challenge to the ballot language of a health care measure that goes before voters in November.

The lawsuit by Republican Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder and several top GOP lawmakers contends the ballot summary is unfair and misleading. Secretary of State Robin Carnahan, a Democrat, wrote the summary.

Online court records show Cole County Circuit Judge Dan Green will hear arguments Friday and again on Aug. 28.

Tim Lloyd / St. Louis Public Radio

The idea of a health care exchange in Missouri continues to be a political sticking point between Republicans and Democrats.

Today, Governor Jay Nixon did his best to sidestep the issue.

In fact, Nixon says he hasn’t really looked at how the ballot measure is written.

As for the idea of health care exchanges in general, the governor isn’t ready to commit.

House votes to repeal health care law

Jul 11, 2012

With a vote of 244 to 185, the Republican-controlled House of Representatives just voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act, President Obama's signature domestic legislation known colloquially as "Obamacare."

Of course, the vote doesn't matter, because the measure has a very slim chance of being adopted by the Senate.

The AP reports that this is the "33rd time in 18 months that the tea party-infused GOP majority has tried to scrap, defund or scale back the law since grabbing the majority."

The AP adds:

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri Lt. Governor Peter Kinder (R) and GOP legislative leaders have filed a lawsuit against Secretary of State Robin Carnahan (D) over the language used in a ballot initiative regarding health care exchanges.

The language approved by Carnahan asks if the law should be amended to, “deny individuals, families, and small businesses the ability to access affordable health care plans through a state-based health benefit exchange unless authorized by statute, initiative or referendum.”  Kinder says the language skews the ballot question’s true purpose, to bar the governor from creating an exchange by executive order.

(Courtesy Missouri Foundation for Health)

A new report by the Missouri Foundation for Health estimates that about two-thirds of Missouri's more than 800,000 uninsured could get health insurance under the federal health care law  - and the county-level data suggest that rural counties will benefit the most.

The analysis uses census data to project how the number of uninsured could change in every county in Missouri under the Affordable Care Act.

File photo

House Speaker Steven Tilley says there is no need for a special session to decide whether Missouri should opt out of a Medicaid expansion.

(Joseph Leahy/St. Louis Public Radio)

US Senator Claire McCaskill is speaking out for the first time in the St. Louis area on the Supreme Court's health care ruling

The Missouri Democrat told supporters today at a party campaign office in St. Charles that she stands firm in her support of President Obama's Affordable Care Act.

She also says the solutions for fixing health care offered by her Republican opponents would be a burden to seniors.

(St. Louis Public Radio)

Elana Gordon of KCUR reported for this story.

Missouri Lt. Governor Peter Kinder is once again filing suit against a health care measure. He and some other Republican lawmakers have announced plans to challenge the secretary of state’s office on newly issued ballot language for a health care measure that’s slated to appear on the November ballot.

UPDATED on Friday, July 6, 2012, to add a correction from Anthem's Deborah Wiethop.

Some 588,000 Missourians will get money back from their health insurance companies this month.

The federal healthcare law requires insurers to spend at least 80 percent of premiums on health care and quality improvement. The rest can go to administrative costs, marketing and profits.

(Visualization: courtesy Matt Stiles)

For a different look at today's health care ruling, check out this fun word visualization. It's an interactive word tree put together by Matt Stiles and posted on his blog, The Daily Viz.

(Matt also happens to be Data Editor of News Apps at NPR).

Try out the tool below with your own phrases, maybe "health" or "cost" or "tax" - you decide.

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