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Missouri State Healthcare Initiative (2010)

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The Missouri Healthcare Freedom Act did not appear on the November 2, 2010 statewide ballot in the state of Missouri as an initiated constitutional amendment. According to reports, the proposed constitutional amendment would have prohibited state regulated health carriers offering health services from providing monetary advantages, limiting health provider's opportunities, etc. The measure was sponsored by Missourians United for Choice in Healthcare (MUCH).

Text of measure

Title

Version 2: The official ballot title of Version 2 was (certified August 6, 2009):[1]

Shall the Missouri Constitution be amended to prohibit state regulated health carriers offering health insurance, benefit, or service plans from:
  1. imposing monetary advantages or penalties under a plan including different co-payments or reimbursements in order to influence a beneficiary’s choice of provider;
  2. imposing different co-payments, fees, or conditions on beneficiaries enrolled in the same benefit plan category, class, or co-payment level; or
  3. limiting a health care provider’s opportunity to participate and provide services according to the terms and conditions of an offered health benefit plan?

Version 3: The official ballot title of Version 3 was (certified October 13, 2009):[2]

Shall the Missouri Constitution be amended to prohibit state regulated health carriers from offering health insurance, benefit, or service plans after November 2, 2010, that:
  1. impose monetary advantages or penalties under a plan including different co-payments or reimbursements in order to influence a beneficiary’s choice of provider;
  2. impose different co-payments, fees, or conditions on beneficiaries enrolled in the same benefit plan category, class, or co-payment level; or
  3. limit a health care provider’s opportunity to participate and provide services according to the terms and conditions of an offered health benefit plan?

Fiscal impact

According to the secretary of state's office, "It is estimated the Missouri Medicaid program will have one-time costs of $100,000 and unknown future costs. State and local governmental entities that do not utilize a self-funded or other health benefit plan that is exempt from state regulation by federal law may be adversely affected, however, the total costs are unknown."

Lawsuits

See also: Ballot title litigation

Both ballot title versions were challenged in court by Alex Bartlett, an attorney with Husch Blackwell Sanders, on behalf of Dennis C. AuBuchon and Deanna F. Goettsch. According to the filed lawsuits, the challenge addressed both the language of the ballot title and the fiscal impact statement. In light of the challenges, measure supporters refrained from collecting signatures. According to state law, if the ballot title had been changed, previously collected signatures would have been considered voided. Missouri Healthcare Freedom Act proponents anticipated the challenge being resolved by January or February 2010.[3]

Path to the ballot

See also: Missouri signature requirements

To qualify for the ballot, the initiative required signatures from registered voters equal to 8% of the total votes cast in the 2008 governor's election from six of the state's nine congressional districts, by May 2, 2010.[4]

See also

Additional reading

References