Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Ah, now that's a bellwether!

Missouri had a ballot proposition that purports to allow Missouri to opt out of ObamaCare. The voters finally got a chance to vote on the whole shebang and the result is overwhelming.
With most of the vote counted, Proposition C was winning by a ratio of nearly 3 to 1. The measure, which seeks to exempt Missouri from the insurance mandate in the new health care law, includes a provision that would change how insurance companies that go out of business in Missouri liquidate their assets.
Of course, it is questionable what the meaning of the new law is since federal law will trump a state law. But it does augur poorly for politicians who voted for ObamaCare. Other state legislatures have been working on similar measures concerning the individual mandate.
Legislatures in other states have passed similar measures. But Missouri is the first state to challenge aspects of the law in a referendum.

Missouri's law prohibits the government from requiring people to have health insurance or from penalizing them from paying for their own health care. That conflicts with a federal requirement that most people have health insurance or face penalties starting in 2014.
As the state cases against the individual mandate work their way through the court, having states pass such laws will help serve as an indication of evolving standards. We know how the Supreme Court likes to look for signs of such evolving standards - well, Missouri has just given them a big sign. The Missouri Secretary of State's site provides this map of Missouri's support for the referendum.
With results like this, expect Republicans to be running hard against ObamaCare. And expect to see other states have similar referenda. The Show Me state showed us yesterday what people think of the whole Democratic plan on health care.

Of course, the Democrats will pooh pooh the result saying that it was just a low-turnout primary. But they sure don't want such a proposition to be placed on ballots during the general election.
Supporters of ObamaCare have been dismissive of the vote in Missouri, arguing that it occurred during low-turnout primaries, and on a day in which the Republican races garnered more attention.

“The assumption that those critics would make is that this would not have passed on a November ballot,” he said. “And I don’t think that’s true. I think this would pass in Missouri whenever we put it on the ballot.”

As evidence, he noted that originally the measure was intended to be on the general election ballot in November, but Democrats fought it, fearing that it would help boost turnout among conservatives.
Hmmm, maybe Scott Brown's election in true-blue Massachusetts on a platform of voting against ObamaCare wasn't such a fluke.