The issue would bar the Governor from creating a health insurance exchange as related to the Affordable Care Act unless lawmakers or voters give him that authority. Kinder says the summary Carnahan has released to describe that issue on the November ballot is misleading.
It reads: “Shall Missouri law 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 or through an exchange operated by the federal government as required by the federal health care act?
“No direct costs or savings for state and local governmental entities are expected from this proposal. Indirect costs or savings related to enforcement actions, missed federal funding, avoided implementation costs, and other issues are unknown.”
Kinder says, “To use the very active verb ‘deny’ individuals, families and small businesses the ability to access affordable healthcare plans is outrageously biased. On its face it’s biased. I have not talked to anyone who believes it’s fair.” He says the language is worded “as though the Obama White House had written the language to illicit from Missouri voters a negative result.”
Kinder says he’ll file a lawsuit challenging the wording, “if not Friday then early next week at the latest.” He adds that House Speaker Steven Tilley (R-Perryville) and Senate Majority Floor Leader Tom Dempsey (R-St. Charles) have already committed to joining that suit.
Kinder says he won’t use public money for the suit, adding he doesn’t anticipate any problems getting private dollars to back it.
Carnahan’s office, in a statement, says “This office has always followed our legal obligation to provide Missourians with fair and sufficient summaries of ballot initiatives, and this summary is no different.”
Secretary of State Spokesman Ryan Hobart adds, “we feel it confident it will hold up in court,” and points out the state legislature had an opportunity to write its own ballot language and did not.