This fall, voters in Missouri will face a number of decisions: picking state and congressional representatives, the President. But also on the ballot will be a measure that like two years ago, has to do with the federal health law.
It follows months of political tension over a key component.
Missouri lawmakers continue debating bills in the closing minutes of the 2012 regular session.
Among the bills passed so far today is one that would require legislative approval before a health care exchange can be created in Missouri. State Rep. Ryan Silvey (R, Kansas City) accused Governor Jay Nixon (D) of trying last year to create an exchange via executive order.
The Missouri House has approved legislation allowing health care providers to refuse to participate in some tasks that violate their religious or ethical beliefs.
Wednesday's 117-37 vote sends the bill back to the Senate to consider changes made by the House.
The measure prohibits punishment of doctors, nurses and other health care workers who refuse to participate in contraception, abortions, embryonic stem cell research and certain other procedures or research.
An Illinois House committee wants to take away a perk for government retirees who get a big break on health insurance.
State employees who work for 20 years pay no insurance premium in retirement. A measure to end that benefit cleared the House Executive Committee, which is controlled by Democrats, without opposition Wednesday.
The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees opposes the legislation.
If passed, the state of Missouri would not recognize the federal Affordable Care Act, and any federal official who tries to enforce it in Missouri would be charged with a Class A misdemeanor. Also, any person who is targeted by a federal official seeking to enforce the ACA would have the right to sue that official. The sponsor, State Rep. Kurt Bahr (R, O’Fallon, Mo.), says the U.S. Constitution doesn’t give the federal government the right to force citizens to purchase anything.
Mo. Senator accuses state labor department of improperly manipulating wages with unions
A top Missouri Senate leader says the state labor department is improperly working with unions to manipulate wages paid on public works projects. The state calculates an annual "prevailing wage" for various construction trades in each county based on surveys of wages already paid on jobs.
Senate President Pro Tem Rob Mayer, a Republican from Dexter, said Wednesday that state bureaucrats and labor unions had engaged in what he called "collusion.
Originally published on Wed March 28, 2012 3:43 pm
On the final morning of its three-day health care law extravaganza, the U.S. Supreme Court wrestled with the question of whether parts of the 2010 federal statute can survive if the justices strike down its central tenet: the individual insurance requirement.
In other words, if the nine justices find the insurance mandate unconstitutional when they rule by June, would that mean that the entire law also fails the constitutionality test?
Originally published on Tue March 27, 2012 11:01 pm
In its second-to-last argument over the Affordable Care Act, the Supreme Court on Wednesday ponders a what-if.
Specifically, if the justices decide that Congress exceeded its constitutional authority in enacting the part of the law that requires most Americans to either have health insurance starting in 2014 or pay a penalty, does that invalidate the rest of the law? And if not, how much, if any, of the rest of the law should it strike down?