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29 September 2011

Tim Jones: Proposing Plan With Sen. Lembke To Stop Governor From Bypassing Legislature In Forming Health Insurance Exchange

Jefferson City, MO—House Majority Leader Tim Jones, (R-St. Louis), joins Senator Jim Lembke, (R-St. Louis), in introducing a resolution aimed at preventing the Governor from assembling a governmental health insurance exchange without involvement of the Missouri General Assembly.

“In August 2010, voters approved Proposition C, which exempts Missouri from much of the federally mandated insurance components in the new health care law. I think Missourians sent a clear message to Washington, D.C. They want the government out of their health care decisions,” Rep. Jones said.

Senate Resolution 60 would require the Missouri Health Insurance Pool (MHIP) to follow recommendations made by the Senate Interim Committee on Health Insurance Exchanges. On Sept. 15, 2011, the board of directors of MHIP considered adopting a resolution establishing the “MHIP/Show-Me HIX” (health insurance exchange) as a distinct organizational unit within MHIP. The MHIP board of directors also considered accepting a $21 million federal grant to help build the technological infrastructure for a health insurance exchange.

After consulting with some key senators from the Senate Interim Committee on Health Insurance Exchanges, the MHIP board of directors postponed action on the resolution to establish an exchange and accept the federal grant. However, counsel retained by MHIP stated that they have the statutory authority to accept the federal monies and take the preliminary steps to establish a health insurance exchange pursuant to ObamaCare. This prompted Sen. Lembke to file SR 60 and for Rep. Jones to join with and fully support the endeavor.

“This action by the Governor ignored both the will of the people and the constitutional role of the Legislature. This was an attempt to open the door for federal health care by either rule or executive order and is an overreaching and improper use of executive power,” Rep. Jones stated.

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