Competing rallies set for Jefferson City, to protest federal health-care law, anti-union measures
Jefferson City hosted dueling rallies today, with opponents of the federal health-care law meet at the Capitol Plaza Hotel as the U.S. Supreme Court conducts its second day of hearings into the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act.
Meanwhile, Missouri’s labor leaders are planning a massive afternoon rally outside the state Capitol to protest “an outrageous number of anti-worker issues currently being considered” by the Republican-controlled General Assembly.
Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder and state House Speaker Steve Tilley, R-Perryville, both Republicans, spoke at the “Hands off My Health Care Rally,” to be held indoors. Dr. Milton Wolf, a physician and President Barack Obama’s cousin, also is scheduled to attend.
Gov. Jay Nixon and Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster, both Democrats, addressed the labor rally participants.
The measures include a proposal to curb the state’s prevailing wage law, which mandates that workers on public construction be paid the prevailing wage for local projects, and a bill to bar employers from deducting union dues from workers’ paychecks, thus requiring that unions collect the payments themselves.
The Missouri State Building Trades Council says it “has created a special handout highlighting the anti-worker laws,” which will be distributed to legislators before the rally “to explain the negative impact should these bills be enacted into law.”
The protest rally against the health-care law is cosponsored by several conservative and tea party groups, along with the conservative group, Americans for Prosperity.
“We are very happy that Rep. Tilley is joining our rally and making clear his support for health-care freedom” said Patrick Werner, state director for the Americans for Prosperity group. “We hope his presence will encourage the rest of the Missouri House to quickly pass SB 464 and help prevent Obama's health-care takeover from coming to Missouri.”
SB 464 requires Missouri voters to approve the creation of a health insurance exchange in the state, which backers contend would help lower insurance costs for people who have to purchase coverage on the open market. Opponents object because such an exchange is mandatory under the federal Affordable Care Act.