Missouri Secretary of State Robin Carnahan’s decision about the wording a health care ballot issue in November is touching off a fight with Missouri Republicans.
In November, Missourians will vote on whether or not to set up a health care exchange, as called for under the Affordable Care Act, the health care overhaul.
The ballot language will read:
“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.”
Tuesday evening, Republican Lt. governor Peter Kinder, a fierce opponent of the health care overhaul law, said he would challenge the ballot language in court.
” Instead of providing fair and impartial language, Robin Carnahan has written ballot language that is extremely biased and prejudicial,” Kinder said in a statement.
He says the way the language reads, voter may think they’re voting to deny access to medical coverage.
The intent of the plan, passed by the Republican-controlled legislature, was different, in Kinder’s view.
He believes the law’s intent is to block the Obama law’s provision until the legislature give each element approval.
The Kansas City Star reports Carnahan spokesman Ryan Hobart as saying, ““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.”