by Sam Levin
Missouri Republicans have come up with many different ways to express their disdain for President Barack Obama and his health care plan. Notably, GOP leaders are continuing to fight the mandatory coverage of contraception as outlined in federal health-care policy.
But this week, one House Republican came up with a much broader attack via a new legislative proposal -- to ban Obamacare altogether in Missouri.
House Bill 995 "declares the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act as unauthorized by the United States Constitution and creates criminal penalties for persons enforcing or attempting to enforce the act."
How would that work, exactly?
Not exactly clear.
Daily RFT left a message yesterday with the office of State Representative Keith Frederick, a Republican from Rolla (who is an orthopedic surgeon by trade), and we'll update if we hear back.
The proposal certainly follows a theme of Missouri GOP bills this session. Republicans have pressed forward with numerous anti-gun control bills, including one that makes it a crime to enforce any of the president's executive orders on guns that violate the Second Amendement. And in a somewhat similar vein, the House and the Senate both have GOP-sponsored bills designed to block a sustainability initiative from the United Nations.
As drafted, Frederick's bill, which was introduced on Tuesday, includes somewhat lengthy comments on the constitution and the "limitation of the national government's power." Regarding health care, the bill says:
It shall be the duty of the general assembly to adopt and enact any and all measures as may be necessary to prevent the enforcement of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act within the limits of this state....
No public officer or employee of this state shall have any authority to enforce or attempt to enforce any aspect of the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
Further, if any government official enforces or even attempts to enforce any part of Obamacare within Missouri, he or she could be guilty of a Class A misdemeanor. As the bill is written, that also means that any person in the state who has been subject to Obamacare, or an attempt at enforcing Obamacare, could take legal action.
This proposal comes shortly after a ruling overturning a controversial Missouri law around contraception mandates that a federal judge said directly contradicted Obama's health-care law. Avoiding a debate on the merits of Obamacare, that decision simply said that it was unconstitutional for Missouri to have a law on the books contradicting federal law.
Here's the full draft of Fredericks' bill.