Missouri's Unique Challenge to Obamacare

Although attorneys general from numerous states have sued on constitutional grounds to overturn the Democratic healthcare bill passed by Congress in March, the suit recently filed in Missouri against the same measure differs dramatically.

Rather than challenging the law solely on the behest of the state, the Missouri suit represents actual people who are going to suffer as a result of the healthcare bill.
There are human faces on this suit—the faces of people who are going to be hurt badly if Obamacare stays on the books.

“As our state’s statutorily-empowered advocate for senior citizens, I began this suit in my official capacity,” Missouri’s Republican Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder told HUMAN EVENTS days after he filed the suit at the federal courthouse in Cape Girardeau, Mo.

In explaining why his suit differs from those of the attorneys general from sister states, Kinder pointed out that “theirs is a ‘facial challenge’—that is, God bless them, challenging Obamacare on the face of the law, challenging its very legality.”

“But ours is a unique case of individuals as parties bringing a suit. It is known as ‘as applied’ and that means that if this law is applied, these individuals are going to be suffer. ”

One of those individuals who joined in the suit also joined Kinder outside the courthouse when he filed it. Her name is Julie Keathley, a widow from Dexter, Mo., with an adopted son who is autistic.

Should Obamacare take effect, Keathley says its regulations will end the special-needs program her son Mason is on and force her to go on Medicaid—the much-criticized program initially designed to favor indigents that is a major cause for much of the deficits that states are now wallowing in.

Another plaintiff in the Missouri suit is 70-something Dale Morris, who is battling congestive heart failure and survived colon cancer and a quadruple bypass. Washington University in St. Louis, Kinder explained, “has among the finest doctors and facilities who can handle her complex problems.” But because of Obamacare, he said, Morris would be unable to get the operation since Medicare Advantage (the program under which she is covered) is being eliminated.

The third plaintiff he cited is 21-year-old Samantha Hill of Western Missouri, a recent college graduate who is trying to get medical catastrophic insurance. Kinder pointed out that Hill “doesn’t smoke, doesn’t drink, doesn’t use drugs, and eats right. Yet, thanks to the ‘one size fits all’ mandate in Obamacare, she will have to follow a cessation program in order to qualify for the catastrophic coverage—a program she can’t afford and has no need for.”

Kinder’s suit comes at a time that there are mounting worries among officials that implementation of the healthcare reform measure will bust Missouri’s budget.

Kinder said that the county executive of a major county in the state “said that the county government, which self-insures its employees, is worried that the federal legislation will increase the costs of health insurance by as much as a quarter-million dollars and this will mandate a tax increase.”

He fully anticipates that others will join in the suit nationwide and that other plaintiffs will find other dangers in Obamacare. In Kinder’s words, “as you peel back layers of this onion, you find so many unintended consequences and all of them are bad.”

(The Missouri lawsuit is being entirely funded by private donations. To support it, send your donation to now)



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