Missouri Att. Gen. Leads Suit Against Obamacare

Tuesday, 13 Jul 2010 09:07 PM

By Dan Weil

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Missouri Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder is leading a lawsuit of three Missouri citizens against the new healthcare law.

The suit differs in two important ways from that filed against the law by at least 20 state attorneys general, he told Newsmax.

First, Kinder isn’t suing as the state of Missouri. Instead, he’s joined by three Missouri citizens as plaintiffs. The attorneys general are suing as states.

Second, Kinder is suing in an “applied challenge,” while the attorneys general are suing in a “facial challenge.”

A facial challenge claims this law is unconstitutional on its face. “We think that’s a somewhat higher burden,” Kinder said.

His case is against the law as applied to the three individuals. They include a 75-year-old woman, a 21-year-old woman and a 47-year-old mother of an autistic child.

“Each is saying this law as applied to me in my daily life and my child’s daily life will harm our healthcare,” Kinder said.

Each plaintiff has a slightly different story. The 75-year-old is a Medicare patient who worked all her life and is now living on Social Security with a very limited income. She’s survived colon cancer, a quadruple bypass operation and has multiple health problems.

“She’s on Medicare Advantage, which is a decent program in the direction of a market approach,” Kinder said. “Since it’s a good program, they eliminated it under the recently-passed law, except if you live in certain counties in Florida.”

This exception was created to win the support of Democratic Florida Sen. Bill Nelson. “That’s a denial of equal protection of the law,” Kinder said.

As for the mother of the autistic boy, her claim is that the new law will harm his healthcare, and the state of Missouri will have to pay a penalty because it has better coverage for autism.

The younger woman, a healthy recent college graduate, doesn’t want a full-blown health policy with all the bells and whistles that the government is mandating for her to buy, Kinder says.

“She says I neither smoke nor drink. Yet I’m being forced to buy smoking cessation and substance abuse [coverage,] when all I need is a catastrophic care policy. So you’ve infringed on my healthcare choices.”

The new law violates the 10th amendment, Kinder says. “It commandeers state resources in a manner we believe violates the constitution and bill of rights.”

Noted legal scholars Richard Epstein at the University of Chicago and Randy Barnett support this argument, he points out.

“Both have said the federal government can’t simply commander state resources, mandate a tax increase and all the rest, and stick taxpayers of Missouri and other states with the bill using their Bernie Madoff and Enron style of accounting.”

Kinder is funding the suit with private donations. The legal bills start at $50,000-$70,000. So far he has raised less than $7,000 and would appreciate contributions of any size. If you’re interested in giving, see healthcareinaction.com.

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