JEFFERSON CITY – Lt. Governor Peter Kinder today spoke out against the recently signed federal health care bill and announced his intent to join officials from 13 other states in legal action against the legislation.
Below are the Lt. Governor’s remarks, as prepared for delivery:
“This morning, President Obama signed into law a federal healthcare mandate that was thrust upon us despite overwhelming opposition from Americans. Over the past few weeks, Missourians have made their voices loud and clear. But, with complete disregard for their constituents, Democrats in congress forced President Obama, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid’s legislation into law.
“This healthcare directive will pose a huge financial burden for our state. Tennessee’s Governor, a democrat, even called this bill “the mother of all unfunded mandates.” The true cost to Missouri taxpayers remains to be seen.
“On December 9, 2009, I wrote a letter urging Senator Claire McCaskill to oppose this government intervention in the private healthcare sector. On December 30, 2009, I asked Governor Nixon to join us in opposition to this healthcare bill. Once again, on January 20, 2010 during my State of the State response, I once again asked the governor to speak out against this infringement on the rights of Missourians. And on January 6, 2010, I asked Attorney General Koster to conduct a thorough legal review of this legislation to determine what provisions might violate the Constitution of the United State or the State of Missouri.
“Each one of those letters went unanswered.
“Today, Missourians should know that their voices have been heard.
“Today, I am here to announce that by my standing as a constitutional officer of the State of Missouri and by my statutory authority as Missouri’s Official Senior Advocate, I intend to join with officials of 13 other states to challenge the legality of this federal healthcare bill and any unconstitutional provision in which may be contained.
“Our fight is two part: to protect the sovereignty of our states, and freedoms of our citizens. This law represents an unprecedented encroachment on the sovereignty of our state in the form of millions of dollars in unfunded mandates. Second, this bill infringes of the rights of private citizens. At no other time in the history of our nation has a mandate forced citizens to purchase a product or face penalties, even imprisonment, for not doing so.
“At a time when our state is dealing with vast budget deficits, we cannot afford to have the federal government throw this huge financial burden in our lap.
“Right now, Republicans and Democrats in the Missouri House and Senate are also working on a bipartisan measure to pass the Health Care Freedom Act, a joint resolution to be voted on by the people of Missouri to protect their ability to make their own health care decisions.
“Although many of their elected officials remain silent, Missourians should rest assured: their voices have been heard and our fight is just beginning.
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