Attorney General Chris Koster’s Amicus Brief Only Goes Halfway
The Show-Me Institute has been one of the leaders in urging Missouri’s attorney general, Chris Koster, to join the lawsuit against the health care reform bill, so we are pleased to note that he finally took action this morning. Better late than never. But regrettably, the amicus brief that Koster filed in the multistate lawsuit only goes halfway.
Although Koster says that the individual mandate is unconstitutional, he also says that it’s severable from the rest of the law. In other words, Koster believes that the federal health care law can remain in place even though the individual insurance mandate can be struck down.
Judge George Vinson went further in his ruling. He ruled that Congress does not have the power to force people to buy something that they don’t want, and therefore the entire law must be declared void.
I understand that many people object to the regulation because of the individual mandate. However, there are additional reasons to oppose this law in Missouri. With or without the individual mandate, the PPACA will raise the cost of health care in Missouri by increasing mandates to cover specific conditions and expanding the eligibility requirements for Medicaid. This component of policy will burden state budgets and threaten state sovereignty. In order to come up with the cash, Missouri will have to raise taxes, cut services, or both.
Koster’s decision to file an amicus brief may be partly due to the Show-Me Intitute’s prodding. Encouraging him to join the lawsuit is a topic that we’ve tracked closely. Show-Me Institute staff have released an open letter, an editorial, an “urgent call for action” via email, and several blog posts on the subject.