Lawsuit challenges Missouri referendum on national health care law

by Jefferson City News-Tribune, via The Associated Press

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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- A lawsuit attempts to block a statewide vote on Aug. 3 on a measure challenging the new federal health insurance law. The lawsuit seeks to declare the measure unconstitutional because of the way the Legislature passed it. The lawsuit cites a constitutional prohibition against bills containing multiple subjects.

The bill originally addressed procedures for insurance companies to voluntarily dissolve. It was amended to include a section stating that people cannot be compelled to have health insurance or penalized for paying their health bills with their own money.

Missouri's ballot measure would defy a federal health care law requiring most Americans to have health insurance or face fines beginning in 2014. It likely would have little effect because federal laws trump state laws.

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