Here’s the official wording for the “amendment” (a.k.a. Proposition C):
Shall the Missouri Statutes be amended to:
* Deny the government authority to penalize citizens for refusing to purchase private health insurance or infringe upon the right to offer or accept direct payment for lawful healthcare services?
* Modify laws regarding the liquidation of certain domestic insurance companies?
It is estimated this proposal will have no immediate costs or savings to state or local governmental entities. However, because of the uncertain interaction of the proposal with implementation of the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, future costs to state governmental entities are unknown.
As one news report put it: “It likely would have little effect because federal laws trump state laws.” (little effect being the gentle way of saying “no effect”)
Then again, that news report also mentions a lawsuit over the multiple subjects of the bill. Which makes sense because the first part of the law is effectively high speed fist shaking and the second part might not get overridden by federal law. How about we look at the 2nd part of this “amendment”:
2. Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, a domestic insurer organized as a stock insurance company may voluntarily dissolve and liquidate as a corporation under sections 351.462 to 351.482, provided that:
(1) The director, in his or her sole discretion, approves the articles of dissolution prior to filing such articles with the secretary of state. In determining whether to approve or disapprove the articles of dissolution, the director shall consider, among other factors, whether:
(a) The insurer’s annual financial statements filed with the director show no written insurance premiums for five years; and
(b) The insurer has demonstrated that all policyholder claims have been satisfied or have been transferred to another insurer in a transaction approved by the director; and
(c) An examination of the insurer pursuant to sections 374.202 to 374.207 has been completed within the last five years; and
(2) The domestic insurer files with the secretary of state a copy of the director’s approval, certified by the director, along with articles of dissolution as provided in section 351.462 or 351.468.
This was the original bill, before the Health Care “Freedom” “Amendment” carjacked this bill’s car and drove it off to Crazyland. Would it be a plus or minus if this section was invalidated due to constitutional problems? I don’t know. You can react to that since some experts might be out there.
As for the Missouri Constitution:
Missouri Constitution, Article III, LEGISLATIVE DEPARTMENT, Section 23
Limitation of scope of bills–contents of titles–exceptions.
Section 23. No bill shall contain more than one subject which shall be clearly expressed in its title, except bills enacted under the third exception in section 37 of this article [Bond issues] and general appropriation bills, which may embrace the various subjects and accounts for which moneys are appropriated.
So it’d be kind of fitting if a bill which won’t do anything was struck down for violating the Missouri Constitution because it’s sponsors conducted a forced marriage of the HC”F””A” and an existing bill. Either way, the best reaction to ineffective propositions is a No Vote.