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Missouri voters reject key provision of health care law August 4, 2010

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Here’s an interesting article about Missouri and Obamacare…

Mo. voters reject key provision of health care law

By DAVID A. LIEB (AP) – Aug. 3, 2010

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Missouri voters on Tuesday overwhelmingly
rejected a key provision of President Barack Obama’s health care law,
sending a clear message of discontent to Washington and Democrats less
than 100 days before the midterm elections.

With about 70 percent of the vote counted late Tuesday, nearly
three-quarters of voters threw their support behind a ballot measure,
Proposition C, that would prohibit the government from requiring
people to have health insurance or from penalizing them for not having
it.

That would conflict with a federal requirement that most people have
health insurance or face penalties starting in 2014.

Tuesday’s vote was seen as largely symbolic because federal law
generally trumps state law. But it was also seen as a sign of growing
voter disillusionment with federal policies and a show of strength by
conservatives and the tea party movement.

Legislatures in Arizona, Georgia, Idaho, Louisiana and Virginia have
passed similar statutes, and voters in Arizona and Oklahoma will vote
on such measures as state constitutional amendments in November. But
Missouri was the first state to challenge aspects of the law in a
referendum.

Federal courts are expected to weigh in well before the insurance
provision takes effect about whether the federal health care overhaul
is constitutional.

The intent of the federal requirement is to broaden the pool of
healthy people covered by insurers, thus holding down premiums that
otherwise would rise because of separate provisions prohibiting
insurers from denying coverage to people with poor health or
pre-existing conditions.

But the insurance requirement has been one of the most contentious
parts of the new federal law. Public officials in well over a dozen
states, including Missouri, have filed lawsuits claiming Congress
overstepped its constitutional authority by requiring citizens to buy
health insurance.

The Missouri Hospital Association spent $400,000 warning people that
passage of the ballot measure could increase hospitals’ costs for
treating the uninsured, but there was little opposition to the measure
from either grass-roots organizations or from the unions and consumer
groups that backed the federal overhaul.

Copyright © 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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