Advocates of states rights try to set Missouri apart from the new federal healthcare law and can’t get over the hump in their first extended discussion. The Senate has spent nine hours arguing whether Missouri can forbid the federal government from requiring some Missourians to buy health insurance and whether the federal governments can penalize those that don’t.
Senator Jane Cunningham’s proposal claims Missouri is a sovereign entity and its citizens cannot be forced into taking part in the federal healthcare program adopted last weekend by Congress.
But a critic of the proposal wonders if it could jeopardize federal funds in other programs, including expansion of Medicaid funding. Senator Victor Callahan of Independence says Missouri could be risking a lot by telling the federal government its citizens must be exempt from the federal healthcare overhaul program if they want to be. .
If Cunningham’s proposal makes it through the legislature it goes to a statewide vote in November. Cunningham thinks its ultimate designation could be the United States Supreme Court. [AUDIO: Priddy report]
Here are a couple of excerpts from the debate (which stopped at 10 p.m. last night) This segment includes an amendment from Senator Joelee Justice that was defeated and a Q&A with Senator Robin Wright-Jones and sponsor Jane Cunningham. AUDIO: Final 90 min