Missouri lawmaker praises Supreme Court’s decision to take up health care law

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Missouri News Horizon
JEFFERSON CITY, MO
. – Missouri’s Republican Senator was quick to praise the Supreme Court’s announcement that it would be taking up one of the law suits filed against last year’s national health care reform law.

The high court said Monday that it would take up the case in late February and early March of next year. If the court sides with Florida and 26 other states bringing the suit, the law could be scraped partially or entirely.

The lawsuit, originally filed by the Florida attorney general, claims the health care reform bill – a centerpiece of President Barack Obama’s domestic policy agenda – is unconstitutional because of the individual mandate, which forces citizens to purchase health insurance. But lawyers with the U.S. Justice Department have countered that the individual mandate is appropriate, since virtually all U.S. citizens will need health care at some point in their lives and that the cost of paying for uninsured individuals creates a heavy financial burden on American taxpayers.

“I’m pleased that the Supreme Court has agreed to hear arguments over ObamaCare, which the majority of Missourians and Americans have soundly rejected,” said Sen. Roy Blunt on Monday in a written statement. “I continue to believe that we need to repeal and replace this costly and burdensome law.”

Despite similar sentiments from Republican leaders in the state legislature, Missouri is not part of the federal lawsuit. Democratic Attorney General Chris Koster refused to join the lawsuit, although he did submit a formal brief in agreement with the most recent ruling on the case, made by the 11th circuit court of appeals in Atlanta in August.

The 11th Circuit Court found the individual mandate to be unconstitutional, but did not go so far as to overturn the entire law and its hundreds of other provisions which have yet to go into effect.

“The majority of the provisions of the Affordable Care Act are severable from the problematic constitutional issues raise by the individual mandate,” Koster said.

The Supreme Court is expected to make it's ruling in June of 2012.