Kinder says he will file challenge to health care law within weeks
By Derek Spellman Globe Staff Writer
JOPLIN, Mo. — Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder said Monday that his legal challenge to the federal health care law should be filed within the next couple of weeks.
During a stop in Joplin, Kinder, a Republican, told reporters that he and other individuals plan to file a lawsuit in federal court that seeks to “set aside the recently passed Obamacare” legislation on grounds that it is “fundamentally corrupt” and unconstitutional. Kinder said he and others would be filing the suit individually, not on behalf of Missouri.
“We are not bringing a lawsuit on behalf of a state,” Kinder said. He said that approach also would allow the plaintiffs to raise “unique constitutional claims.”
Kinder announced earlier this year that he planned to file such a suit. On Monday, he contended that the health care overhaul would diminish the quality of health care, hurt providers and saddle Missouri taxpayers with additional costs.
“This is wrong as a moral issue,” Kinder said, also calling it “wrong” for families and taxpayers.
Democrats already have pushed back against the pending lawsuit.
In a statement released just after Kinder announced that he would be pursuing a legal challenge, Ryan Hobart, the communications director for the Missouri Democratic Party, called the litigation “just another political maneuver by someone who is all politics, all of the time.”
“The health insurance reform bill will potentially provide billions in federal dollars for health care in Missouri, allow children with pre-existing conditions to get insurance, and remove lifetime caps on the amount of insurance coverage individuals can receive,” Hobart said in the statement provided to the Globe on Monday. “In addition to all that, it is estimated that over the long term it will reduce the federal deficit by trillions of dollars.”
Kinder, though, challenged claims that the law would reduce the deficit. He asserted that more recent estimates from the Congressional Budget Office forecast that the cost would be even higher than previously stated.
Democrats have called on Kinder to disclose who will be financing the lawsuit. The lieutenant governor said he is raising money private money for the legal challenge.
“I’ll be disclosing later this summer,” he said. “I’m under no legal obligation to do so. That’s voluntary.”
Hobart on Monday provided a list of statements from legal scholars contending that Kinder’s lawsuit would have little chance of success because federal laws generally trump those in states.
Kinder said “we like our chances” of the lawsuit perhaps making its way to the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals and maybe the U.S Supreme Court.