AG Koster files paperwork to support healthcare lawsuit
By Stephanie Backus
Mon, 11 Apr 2011 17:32:26 GMT — Update: April 11 at 12:40 p.m.: Missouri Lt. Governor Peter Kinder released the following statement regarding Koster's support of a Florida lawsuit against the federal health care law:"After thirteen months of inaction and indecision, Attorney General Koster has joined me in declaring the individual mandate to be unconstitutional. However, AG Koster fails to recognize what Judge Vinson clearly articulated and ruled, which is that the individual mandate is not severable from the Health Care Act and therefore the entire law is unconstitutional. AG Koster TMs amicus brief in the Florida case, while welcome, is a day late and a dollar short. It does not adequately defend the Missouri Health Care Freedom Act or respond to the resolution passed by the Missouri General Assembly. With the exception of AG Koster now agreeing that the individual mandate is unconstitutional, we are otherwise disappointed in AG Koster's course of action. His filing of an amicus brief in the Appellate Court hearing the Florida case does not effectively advocate for the interests of Missouri citizens. I continue to urge AG Koster to join the lawsuit that I and other Missouri citizens have filed in federal court in Missouri. This case is the only case in the nation specifically defending the Health Care Freedom Act and rights of Missourians. It is crucial that leaders of our state are willing to get in the battle for Missourians' constitutional rights and freedoms, and not just comment from the sidelines."Original Story:Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster filed paperwork to support a Florida lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the new federal health care law. A Florida judge ruled in February that the new law was unconstitutional.Koster filed the document on Monday, saying Congress overstepped its constitutional powers by forcing Americans to have health insurance or pay a fine.Koster had fought against the lawsuit filings against the health care bill, and did not previously join several other states in a lawsuit against the mandate. Missouri Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder filed a lawsuit on behalf of Missourians against the law.Missouri voters passed a measure last year prohibiting people from behind required to have health insurance in Missouri. The General Assembly passed resolutions asking Koster to defend the new law and challenge the federal reform.Koster is not opposed the law in whole, though, stating that he thinks just the federal mandate can be struck down while the rest of the law can remain in place.(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)
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