Monday, 13 January 2014 08:34
A bill filed in the Missouri Senate could well strike another blow against the federal Affordable Care Act. The bill, sponsored by Ladue Republican John Lamping, would suspend insurance companies’ state licenses if they accepted subsidies offered by the federal government to help pay health insurance premiums for low- and middle-income Missourians. Lamping tells the St. Louis Post Dispatch that the subsidies are illegal and eventually will be thrown out by a federal court. By rejecting them, he says, Missouri could remove the trigger in the federal law that, beginning in 2015, will assess penalties against large employers that don’t provide health insurance. Critics of Lamping’s plan say that the Affordable Care Act is helping people obtain health insurance and that it’s time to stop fighting it.
It wouldn’t be the first time Missouri had tried to halt Obamacare.
In 2010, about 71 percent of Missourians voted to oppose the mandate to purchase insurance and in 2012, nearly 62 percent voted to prevent the governor from setting up a state-based insurance exchange.
As a result, Missouri is one of 34 states where the federal government is operating the exchange, an online marketplace that allows consumers to compare health plans and sign up for coverage.
That website, HealthCare.gov, gained notoriety because of a problem-plagued rollout last fall. As of Nov. 30, only 4,124 Missourians had selected a marketplace plan.
Published in Local News