Friday, June 29, 2012

Special SCOTUS Day Update…

Read the opinion here.


What’s Next

There will be two areas of contention going forward in Missouri.


First, Missouri is unprepared to implement the “exchanges” which will provide a place for individuals to choose from competing insurance policies.  Read the New York Times article on exchanges here.


You will recall that Rep. Chris Molendorp sponsored a bill which flew through the House two sessions ago to start the proocess.  It was killed by Sen. Jane Cunningham in the Senate and never revived.  If states don’t set up exchanges, it’s said the Feds will do it for them (or in conservative parlance “to them.”)


And then there’s the Medicaid expansion.  Read the SCOTUS blog here.  Exiting House Budget Chair Ryan Silvey tells Kaiser Health News there will be no expansion in Missouri (read it here): “I don’t see any chance of that happening,” he said. “It’s just not a sustainable option. My job is to balance the state budget.”


According to the New York Times, the Feds will pay most of the costs.  Read it here. “Normally, the federal government and the states share Medicaid costs, with the federal government paying an average of 57 percent of the total. Under the new law, the federal government will pay the full cost of covering those newly eligible for Medicaid for three years, from 2014 to 2016. The federal share will then gradually decline; it will be 90 percent, starting in 2020.”


And MO Budget Project screams to accept this offer: “According to the Kaiser Foundation, the Medicaid expansion in Missouri will extend coverage to as many as 307,872 Missourians and will generate $8.395 billion in federal funds for the health care industry in Missouri over the first five years of implementation of the Medicaid expansion, beginning in 2014… The injection of federal financing will have significant impacts on the health care industry in the state as well as the economy in general. In addition to the Medicaid financing, new tax credits for individuals and small businesses intended to make access to health insurance more affordable will not only will bring new funding to Missouri, but will also allow those small businesses and individuals to utilize more of their incomes for other needs, including business expansion and individual purchasing, thereby generating further economic activity.”




Interestingly Republicans and Democrats both seemed happy with the outcome.


Republicans said it would “fire up” their base in November.  The Supreme Court opinion while saying it was constitutional highlighted that whether it was good policy or not was a political issue.  Republicans from their presidential nominee on down quickly seized on this and started talking repeal with voters elect them in November.


Democrats cheered too. Said one consultant: “Don't worry too much about the devil in the details about the supreme court ruling, commerce clause, etc..  It's had to overstate how important this is for Obama's re-election. Overturning it would have just killed him. Ineffective, Jimmy Carter, yayada..  It isn't the winning shot, but this keeps him in the game – if he can limit the unforced errors over the next few months - even with a teetering economy -  we could get another 4 years.”


In the heat of yesterday it felt like the federal healthcare law was ousting “jobs” as the preeminent issue of the election cycle.  We’ll see if blood continues to boil hot in this direction in the coming weeks.



The Statement Parade



Nixon: "We're just now beginning to review this ruling so that we can understand exactly what it means for Missouri.  This ruling has significant complexities and implications for families, health care providers and insurers in our state.  Here in Missouri, I'm committed to working collaboratively with citizens, businesses, medical providers and the legislature to move forward in a way that works best for families in our state."


Spence: "Jay Nixon needs to be very clear about his plans in response to the Obamacare decision. Today I'm calling on him to commit to all Missourians that he will not take any action to implement the job-killing law until voters have an opportunity to make their voices heard in November."



Akin: “Since its inception I have fought against the adoption of Obamacare and I applaud the innumerable citizens who have stood for freedom, common sense and the right to life in opposition to this dangerous piece of socialist engineering. Today's ruling does not end the need for continued opposition to this offensive overreach into the most private aspect of Americans' lives.  With this decision, I, my conservative colleagues and a substantial majority of Americans will redouble our campaign to defund and repeal all of Obamacare.”


Steelman: "I am disappointed and angry that the United States Supreme Court passed down a ruling which will alter the fabric of our nation by creating a fundamentally socialist healthcare system. Today's ruling is not a republican ruling. It is not a democrat ruling. It is an establishment ruling. Lead by Chief Justice Roberts, an establishment appointee, more focused on keeping power in the hands of Washington politicians. This is why the status quo has got to go, we cannot afford more of the same… Once again, the Establishement of both parties have increased their power at the expense of our nation. I will vote to repeal Obamacare.  And I know you don't have to attend Harvard to be a good judge or public servant.   I will only support judicial nominees who are strict Constitutionalists, that recognize the Constitution is the Supreme law of the land and who understand that God gave us freedom not government and that our Constitution protects those liberties. And unlike the establishment candidates, I will do what I say I am going to do. THE STATUS QUO HAS GOT TO GO!"


Brunner: “Today’s Supreme Court decision is very disappointing and underscores the critical nature of this election. ObamaCare is fundamentally flawed and the absolute wrong approach to health care reform. As Missouri’s next citizen-senator, I will fight to repeal ObamaCare and replace it with sensible, market-driven solutions that will truly control costs and improve our health care system.”



Lieutenant Governor

Kinder: “I have just begun to fight for Missouri families. I will not relent in my efforts to repeal this unconscionable tax on Missourians and all Americans. Today the nation’s highest court recognized that President Obama and his fellow Democrats attempted to justify the individual mandate with a bogus argument. The Supreme Court acknowledged the mandate for what it is – a huge job-killing tax burden imposed on the American people and particularly the struggling middle class. Missourians spoke loud and clear on this issue in 2010 and I will continue to stand with the people of Missouri… The Court’s ruling that Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion provision violates the Constitution is a victory for Missourians. However, the portion of the decision striking down the state Medicaid mandates did NOT eliminate Obamacare’s additional 3.8% Medicaid tax.  This is yet another reason we must work to repeal this horrendous and unprecedented law. Today’s decision underscores the dire importance of pending lawsuits such as my own, the November election and the need for full repeal of this monstrous job-killing tax on Americans.”


Lager: “I am disappointed in the Supreme Court’s ruling today, that upheld the single largest tax increase in the world.  I believe that we should work more for our families then we do for government.  I believe the best government is one that governs least, not one who seeks to tax our behaviors. We now know that our public leaders failed us once again due to the fact they simply did not read the legislation.  Our President said this was not a tax increase and today we now know the truth.  While their have been many politically motivated lawsuits, the only way to defeat this policy is to elect competent conservative leaders that will fight for our values.”



Attorney General

Koster: "Missouri's brief before the Supreme Court argued a simple, but important, principle:  the individual mandate was not constitutional under the Commerce Clause, but could conceivably be upheld, if the Court saw fit, under the taxing power. A majority of justices agreed with Missouri's analysis that the Commerce Clause could not be used to force citizens to purchase health insurance, but found that the ACA was constitutional under Congress' taxing power. The complexity of the decision raises a host of pressing issues for our state, including the need to establish our own health care exchange, and Missouri's future options regarding Medicaid expansion.  We will be carefully reviewing the Court's decision in the coming days to determine the best way to protect Missourians, including the decision's impact on Proposition C, passed in 2010 by more than 70 percent of the vote."


Martin: “There have been many times when Missourians should have had an Attorney General to stand up for them and fight ObamaCare.  Whether it was failing to fight against intrusions on personal freedom, religious liberty, and rationing of care, Chris Koster could have stood up for Missourians against the anti-freedom mandate upheld today by the Supreme Court.  Koster decided to play liberty party politics instead… If I am Missouri’s Attorney General, I will stand up against intrusions on our individual freedom, religious liberty, rationing, and cuts in care.  I will fight, come hell or high water, for our rights and freedoms. Koster has proven that he won’t, that being an Obama lawyer means more to him than doing his job for us. The Supreme Court ruling leaves the mandate in place as a tax on individuals who choose not to have insurance. As Attorney General I cannot let this stand.”




Speaker-elect Tim Jones: "This law underscores the importance of the upcoming election. Now that liberals  have seen that the Supreme Court will not stand in the way of their cornerstone  big government policy, there is no doubt they will be emboldened to go even further unless we put a stop to it at the ballot box. That is the only way to avoid future policies like Obamacare which will bust our budget and erode our individual freedoms. I know that increasing access to affordable healthcare is something that needs to be done, but this is the absolute wrong way to do it. We need to accomplish healthcare cost reform the right way - using a small government, free market-based, capitalist approach to cut the cost of care and ensure more Americans are able to afford insurance. That is the only way to avoid the colossal mistakes inherent in Obamacare."



$5K+ Contributions

Missouri Senate Campaign Committee - $10,000 from Smithfield Food Inc.

Missouri Senate Campaign Committee - $10,000 from Rudolph Farber.

Save Our States Job Coalition - $5,456 from Missouri Restaurant Association.

Jay Nixon for Missouri - $10,000 from FEAPAC of Missouri.

Jay Nixon for Missouri - $10,000 from Husch Blackwell LLP.

Jay Nixon for Missouri - $10,000 from Burns & McDonnell.

Jay Nixon for Missouri - $10,000 from Kansas City Power & Light Company.

Jay Nixon for Missouri - $25,000 from Carey & Danis LLC.

Give Missourians a Raise - $6,104 from SEIU Healthcare Illinois/Indiana.

Missourians for Responsible Lending - - $6,104 from SEIU Healthcare Illinois/Indiana.

Citizens for Diehl - $10,000 from RightCHOICE Managed Care Inc.

MO Drive Fund - $20,000 from Drive Committee

Kander for Missouri -$15,000 from CHIPP Political Account.

Spence for Governor - $10,000 from Jeff Fox.

Spence for Governor - $25,000 from Lewis & Clark Regional Leadership.