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Judge revises wording for Mo. health care measure

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KBIA file photo

The language used in a ballot initiative approved by Missouri Secretary of State Robin Carnahan has been tossed out by a Cole County judge. 

Proposition-E centers on the conditions for creating a health care exchange in Missouri. It read in part if the law should, quote, “deny individuals, families and small businesses the ability to access affordable health care.”  Republican Lt. Governor Peter Kinder called the language used by the Democratic Secretary of State unbelievably biased.

“This was not a close call for the judge, he ruled swiftly, the same day we had oral arguments in his court," Kinder said. "It’s about as complete a victory for our side as you can have, and it restores the integrity of our process.”

Solicitor General Jeremiah Morgan represented the Secretary of State’s office.  He argued that Kinder and other Republican plaintiffs are using Proposition E to try and block the implementation of the president’s Affordable Care Act in Missouri.

Attorney Jay Kanzler represents Lt. Governor Peter Kinder and other Republicans who filed suit.

“The choice is between a state exchange or a federal exchange," Kanzler said. "It is not a choice between having an exchange or not having an exchange. There will be health benefit exchanges come Jan. 1, 2014.”

Judge Daniel Green agreed, and the ballot language now reads: “Shall Missouri Law be amended to prohibit the Governor, or any state agency, from establishing or operating state-based health insurance exchanges unless authorized by a vote of the people or by the legislature?”

Carnahan, meanwhile, has issued a statement expressing disappointment with Judge Daniel Green’s ruling and that her office is reviewing their next move, which would likely mean an appeal to the State Supreme Court.

Missouri Public Radio State House Reporter Marshall Griffin is a proud alumnus of the University of Mississippi (a.k.a., Ole Miss), and has been in radio for over 20 years, starting out as a deejay. His big break in news came when the first President Bush ordered the invasion of Panama in 1989. Marshall was working the graveyard shift at a rock station, and began ripping news bulletins off the old AP teletype and reading updates between songs. From there on, his radio career turned toward news reporting and anchoring. In 1999, he became the capital bureau chief for Florida's Radio Networks, and in 2003 he became News Director at WFSU-FM/Florida Public Radio. During his time in Tallahassee he covered seven legislative sessions, Governor Jeb Bush's administration, four hurricanes, the Terri Schiavo saga, and the 2000 presidential recount. Before coming to Missouri, he enjoyed a brief stint in the Blue Ridge Mountains, reporting and anchoring for WWNC-AM in Asheville, North Carolina. Marshall lives in Jefferson City with his wife, Julie, their dogs, Max and Mason, and their cat, Honey.
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