SECOND REGULAR SESSION
House Concurrent Resolution No. 77
95TH GENERAL ASSEMBLY
INTRODUCED BY REPRESENTATIVES FRANZ (Sponsor), RICHARD, PRATT, SELF, SATER, NIEVES, FISHER (125), DUSENBERG, SCHARNHORST, FUNDERBURK, TILLEY, DAY, BIVINS, KINGERY, DIEHL, RUESTMAN, ALLEN, SMITH (150), DAVIS, SUTHERLAND, AYRES, CUNNINGHAM, DIECKHAUS, WASSON, DENISON, WELLS, BRANDOM, POLLOCK, DEEKEN, ICET, ZERR, LIPKE, DUGGER, PARKINSON, GUERNSEY, BRUNS, HOBBS, SCHLOTTACH, ERVIN, LAIR, NOLTE, SCHAD, COX, JONES (89), BURLISON, WILSON (130), HOSKINS (121), TRACY, VIEBROCK, RUZICKA, SCHAAF, STREAM, WILSON (119), DETHROW, McNARY, KOENIG, DIXON, SANDER, EMERY, SMITH (14), THOMSON, BROWN (149), KRAUS, BROWN (30), KEENEY, SILVEY, JONES (117), SCHOELLER, GUEST, NANCE, FLANIGAN AND MOLENDORP (Co-sponsors).
Relating to the filing of a Missouri legal challenge to the constitutionality of federal health care legislation.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the state of Missouri, as follows:
Whereas, attorneys general from 13 states - Florida, South Dakota, South Carolina, Nebraska, Louisiana, Texas, Alabama, Utah, Colorado, Pennsylvania, Washington, Idaho, and Michigan - sued the federal government on March 23, 2010, claiming the landmark health care overhaul bill is unconstitutional; and
Whereas, a 14th state, Virginia, did not join the larger lawsuit, but has filed its own lawsuit challenging the federal legislation; and
Whereas, the lawsuit filed by 13 attorneys general includes and asserts:
(1) A Commerce Clause claim;
(2) A Tenth Amendment sovereignty violation for forcing states, among other things, to expand Medicaid coverage;
(3) A direct tax violation for the one-size-fits all penalty if a person fails to purchase health insurance; and
(4) A violation of Article 4, Section 4 of the United States Constitution because "the Act deprives [the States] of ... their right to a republican form of government"; and
Whereas, Virginia and Idaho have passed legislation aimed at blocking the legislation's insurance requirement from taking effect; and
Whereas, under the federal legislation, beginning in 2014, most Americans will be required to carry health insurance, either through an employer or government program or by purchasing it themselves. Those Americans who refuse to carry such health insurance will face penalties from the Internal Revenue Service; and
Whereas, the lawsuit asks the bill be declared unconstitutional because "the Constitution nowhere authorizes the United States to mandate, either directly or under threat of penalty, that all citizens and legal residents have qualifying health care coverage"; and
Whereas, the lawsuit also claims the health care legislation violates the Tenth Amendment of the United States Constitution, which says the federal government has no authority beyond the powers granted to it under the Constitution, by forcing the states to carry out its provisions but not reimbursing them for the costs; and
Whereas, the lawsuit also asserts that the states cannot afford the new law because the health care legislation will add millions of people to state Medicaid rolls, costing some states more than one billion dollars over the next ten years in increased Medicaid expenditures; and
Whereas, according to an attorney representing the 13 attorneys general joining in the lawsuit, those state attorneys general "are convinced that the federal health care legislation is fundamentally flawed as a matter of constitutional law, that it exceeds the scope of proper constitutional authority of the federal government and tramples upon the rights and prerogatives of states and their citizens"; and
Whereas, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, at least 36 states are attempting to limit, alter, or oppose some of the federal legislation's provisions through state constitutional amendments or laws, with many of the proposals seeking to keep health insurance coverage optional for individuals and exempt employers from penalties if they don't offer coverage for workers:
Now, therefore, be it resolved that the members of the House of Representatives of the Ninety-fifth General Assembly, Second Regular Session, the Senate concurring therein, hereby call on Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster to file an independent lawsuit or join the 13 other state attorneys general from across the nation in challenging the constitutionality and validity of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the federal health care legislation; and
Be it further resolved that this resolution be sent to the Governor for his approval or rejection pursuant to the Missouri Constitution.