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Koster won't file appeal for Carnahan on health ins. exchange ballot language

(via Flickr/Jennifer Boriss)

There will be no challenge to the new language inserted onto a ballot initiative by a Cole County judge regarding health insurance exchanges.

The version initially approved by Secretary of State Robin Carnahan (D) had asked if state law should, “deny individuals, families and small businesses the ability to access affordable health care,” unless the people or the legislature created an exchange.  In a statement, Carnahan says Attorney General Chris Koster (D) refused to file an appeal on her office’s behalf.  Lt. Governor Peter Kinder (R) filed suit against Carnahan over that language.  He applauded the Democratic Attorney General’s move.

“Even an Attorney General of her own party will not go forward with an appeal of this ruling because he knows that any court that looks at her language will strike it down," Kinder saidl  "Secretary of State Carnahan has shown (herself) to be the partisan hack that she is.”

The new ballot language inserted by fellow Republican and Circuit Judge Daniel Green asks if state law should, quote, “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 calls the new language, "incomplete, uninformative and a disservice to Missouri voters."  Her full statement:

"The Secretary of State's office has a legal obligation to provide Missourians with fair and sufficient summaries of ballot measures. We believe our summary of SB 464 meets that legal standard.  Although we strongly disagree with the decision by the Cole County Circuit Court, this office is not in a position to appeal the decision on its own. We are disappointed that Attorney General Koster has refused our request to file an appeal.  The new summary language is incomplete, uninformative and a disservice to Missouri voters who must decide on the critical issue of how and when Missouri individuals, families and small businesses will have access to affordable health care." 

Meanwhile, Koster has also issued a brief statement:

“Judge Greene’s summary more accurately reflects the legislative intent than does the Secretary’s proposed language.  My job is to call balls and strikes in an impartial manner.  The argument is over.”

Meanwhile, Koster's Republican opponent in the Attorney General's race, Ed Martin, also weighed in, saying that he should have rejected Carnahan’s "biased language in the first place."

As of 6:45 p.m. today, the original summary language approved by Carnahan and rejected by Judge Green was still on the Secretary of State's website.

Marshal was a political reporter for St. Louis Public Radio until 2018.

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