by Annabeth Miller
Missouri's lieutenant Governor is going to push forward this month with his plan to file a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of President Obama's health care reform plan.
Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder of Cape Girardeau announced on national television this past week that he intends to file suit in federal court challenging the recently-signed health care legislation.
Kinder said Friday he will seek private funding for the legal challenge instead of using Missouri taxpayer funds. Kinder spoke in a telephone interview from Kansas City as he was preparing to travel across the Show Me State.
Kinder made his law suit announcement during an appearance on Fox News Channel's "On the Record with Greta Van Susteren" Wednesday evening.
"We will continue this fight against the infringement on state sovereignty and personal freedom," Kinder said.
Kinder said he is filing the lawsuit to protect Missouri taxpayers from what he says will be the phenomenal cost to the state from the federal health care reform.
"The Obama-Pelosi-Reid-McCaskill democrats are sticking it to Missouri taxpayers," Kinder said.
Kinder said he is filing the lawsuit as a part of his statutory responsibility as the official ombudsman for Missouri's older adults. "Seniors are going to be hurt the worst by the ill-conceived, misbegotten federal health care reform. It will devastate our state's budget and rob from Medicare."
Kinder pointed out Missouri is already in the midst of a state budget crisis, with declining state revenues and a budget that is being cut to the bone to keep the state within a balanced budget. Missouri is constitutionally required to have a balanced budget.
"You cannot add an extra $500 million in expected expanded Medicare costs," Kinder emphasized. "They are sticking Missouri taxpayers with the bill. This infringes and encroaches on our rights. I am going to stand up for the right of every Missourian to select their own health care plan."
"Who would have thought two years ago that we would be talking about trillions piled on trillions of dollars of debt," Kinder said.
He noted that in the last 15 months the federal government has taken over auto makers General Motors and Chrysler, and that the student loan program in the county would be nationalized as a part of the health care reform package.
"There have been so many aspects of our economic lives as a nation taken over in the last 15 months by the federal government that it seems nothing is out-of-bounds. We've got to draw a line and say 'this far and no farther,'" he added.
Kinder has developed a new website, http://www.healthcareinaction.com/, to keep Missourians up-to-date on the status of the lawsuit and to offer visitors a way of donating to help underwrite the cost of the federal lawsuit.
"Instead of putting the financial burden on Missouri taxpayers, we are asking for private funding. The state budget is tight. We believe private funding can be generated for this and we are going to go out and test that notion," he said. He noted his new website will have a link active next week to make a donation.
"We are mapping out a strategy and are expecting to file in the federal courts here in Missouri this month," he said.
A recent statewide poll by Rasmussen shows that a majority of Missouri voters favor repealing the new Obama health care plan. The statewide poll that was released on April 8, shows that 59 percent of Missouri voters favor repealing the health care plan, while 36 percent oppose repeal. This includes 47 percent who strongly favor repeal and 27 percent who strongly oppose it. "Most Missouri voters (56 percent) think the just-passed health care bill will be bad for the country, and 61% oppose the bill's requirement that every American buy or obtain health insurance. Fifty-one percent (51 percent) think Missouri should join the other states that are suing the federal government over the constitutionality of this requirement, but 37 percent oppose such a suit" the polling report said.
Rasmussen also reported that the number of voters opposing the health care plan is slightly higher in Missouri than nationwide.