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Missouri Seeks Alternative to Obamacare

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (CN) - The Missouri House overwhelmingly passed a bill that would have the state enter a multistate health-care compact in an effort to supersede President Obama's health care reforms.

By 103-53 vote, the House gave first-round approval to the measure. It must go through one more House vote before moving to the Senate, which is considering a similar bill.

The gesture may be in vain. Whether the compact can override federal policy is still in question; at least one other state would have to join it and Congress would have to approve the agreement.

The compact's goal is to exempt those states' residents from a federal requirement that they buy health insurance. Seventy-one percent of Missourians voted in August 2010 for a measure stating that people should not be required to have health insurance.

State Rep. Eric Burlison, R-Springfield, who sponsored the bill, told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that it isn't an alternative health care reform law, but a government reform. Burlison said state legislatures should make health care policy because they better understand their constituents.

Opponents say that if Missouri enters such a compact, and if the federal government allows for its creation, the state could risk losing sections of the federal law that consumers want, including requiring insurance policies to cover certain disease-preventing procedures.

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