Free Markets, Free People
Missouri says "no" to ObamaCare
In the most telling poll of all – a vote – the citizens of Missouri overwhelmingly voted not to participate in ObamaCare. 71% voted for Proposition C which prohibits Missouri from compelling people to pay a penalty or fine if they fail to carry health coverage.
Of course that obviously doesn’t mean that percentage isn’t going to or doesn’t carry health coverage. Instead it is a grassroots rejection of the premise that the federal government has either the power or authority to make them. And they’ve just prohibited their state from enforcing such a law.
The Missouri vote is likely to have little immediate practical effect because the mandate doesn’t take effect until 2014. If federal courts uphold the federal law as constitutional, it would take precedence over any state law that contradicts it.
And, of course, I loved this:
Opponents included the Missouri Hospital Association, which said that if the mandate isn’t enforced some who can afford insurance will get a free ride and pass the costs on to those who are insured.
Really? You mean like what is done now under Medicare and Medicaid?
But I think this Missouri state senator may have the best point:
“This really wasn’t an effort to poke the president in the eye,” said State Senator Jim Lembke, a Republican. “First and foremost, this was about defining the role of state government and the role of federal government. Whether it’s here in Missouri with health care or in Arizona with illegal immigration, the states are going to get together on this now.”
States have been getting the short end of the mandate stick for decades. Yet many of them work under two constraints the federal government doesn’t. One, most of them are required by law to have a balanced budget. Unfunded mandates of the sort imposed by ObamaCare take a wrecking ball to that sort of requirement. Secondly, the states can’t print money at their whim. Therefore they must borrow any money to fulfill the mandates.
This and the Arizona law may be the first shots in a long war that sees the states again asserting their rights. It will mostly be fought out in the courts and its outcome is going to be critical to the America we are a part of in the future.
If the courts side with the Obama administration, then there’s just about nothing the federal government can’t do or which it can’t involve itself. And as we’ve seen in the last 18 months, it doesn’t take long, if the circumstances are right, for it to intrude to levels never before seen.
But regardless of the outcome in court, the Missouri vote is important. The “Show Me” state is a rather purple state, so I think most expected the vote to be somewhat close with those rejecting ObamaCare winning out. Instead, we see a huge margin rejecting the premise.
It should send a signal to both parties, and it should certainly have Democrats quaking in their boots about November.
Whether or not the parties will heed the message remains to be seen, but the voters of Missouri have pretty much voiced what I think the majority of this country feels – “thanks, but no thanks”. Back off, downsize and cut spending. And stay out of our lives and our health care.