Missouri health care measure cleared for August vote, no appeal sought

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July 21, 2010

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JEFFERSON CITY, Missouri: Late last week, three days following the July 13 court hearing for the proposed Missouri Healthcare Freedom, Proposition C, Cole County Circuit Court Judge Paul Wilson ruled to uphold the proposed measure and dismissed the lawsuit.[1] In his decision, Judge Wilson wrote that despite arguments that the measure's title was too broad, the Missouri Supreme Court had previously upheld bills that had broader titles. Additionally, Wilson noted that both parts of the proposed measure relate to insurance and thus comply with the single subject rule. The changes made to the text, he noted, remain in line with the bill's original purpose.[2][3] In his decision Judge Wilson criticized the timing of the suit. He noted that the plaintiffs had more than sufficient opportunities to file a complaint prior to the lawsuit filing.[4]

In reaction to the July 16 court ruling, Jefferson City Attorney Chip Gentry announced that the plaintiffs did not plan to further pursue the case. "We thought about it and have decided not to appeal at this time; in light of the fact that ultimately what this case was about was to avoid voter confusion and the impossible choice of having two questions in one box. Even if we were successful on appeal, which we feel we would be; the ultimate remedy of actually removing that confusing language from the ballot wouldn’t happen and that the ballots simply would not be counted and would not be certified," said Gentry. In addition to bad timing, Gentry said the plaintiffs did not want to cost the state more money. Absentee ballots had already been cast and ballots had already been printed.[5]

Despite the plaintiffs' decision not to appeal the judge's ruling, a challenge following the August election, should the measure be approved, is not out of the question.[5]

The full text of the measure can be found here.

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