[Proposed by the 95th General Assembly (Second Regular Session) SS SCS HCS HB 1764] Official Ballot Title: Shall the Missouri Statutes be amended to: Deny the government authority to penalize citizens for refusing to purchase private health insurance or infringe upon the right to offer or accept direct payment for lawful healthcare services? Modify laws regarding the liquidation of certain domestic insurance companies? It is estimated this proposal will have no immediate costs or savings to state or local governmental entities. However, because of the uncertain interaction of the proposal with implementation of the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, future costs to state governmental entities are unknown. Fair Ballot Language: A “yes” vote will amend Missouri law to deny the government authority to penalize citizens for refusing to purchase private health insurance or infringe upon the right to offer or accept direct payment for lawful healthcare services. The amendment will also modify laws regarding the liquidation of certain domestic insurance companies. A “no” vote will not change the current Missouri law regarding private health insurance, lawful healthcare services, and the liquidation of certain domestic insurance companies. If passed, this measure will have no impact on taxes.
The state of Missouri on Tuesday is in line to become the first in the nation to conduct what some are saying will be a popularity vote on the new federal health care law.
The proposal, Proposition C on Tuesday’s ballot, calls for a state law that would bar the federal government from requiring residents to have health insurance or from assessing a punishment if they were to pay their medical bills out of their own pockets.
Such a law would conflict with the new federal law, which was backed by the Obama administration and the Democratic-controlled Congress. The federal law requires that most people must have health insurance by 2014 or face fines.
The measure’s sponsor, Sen. Jane Cunningham, R-Chesterfield, has been quoted as saying the legislation “simply protects the rights of Missourians to choose their own health care products and services without fear of facing fines or imprisonment. It doesn’t reject any federal health care option, nor take away an individual’s choice to participate in the federal health care plan.”
The constitutionality of the proposal has been questioned in court, but a Cole County circuit judge dismissed the lawsuit recently, leaving the proposal on Tuesday’s ballot.
Opponents said the ballot proposal posed an unconstitutional predicament for voters in that it would force them to cast a single vote for what is a two-part question. The measure also would amend the law on the liquidation of insurance companies that go out of business. The judge did not agree, but had earlier said that he would make a quick ruling in order for it to be appealed possibly to the state’s Supreme Court before the election.
Proposition C Precincts Reporting 1625 of 3354
Yes 381,782 75.7%
No 122,420 24.3%
Total Votes 504,202
* Election results as of 9:34:07 on 8/03/2010
Jane Cunningham calls Missouri the first domino. If Proposition C passes -- and based on very early returns it looks like it will -- the national campaign against President Barack Obama's health care law will gain momentum. In November, Arizona, Florida and Oklahoma will hold similar votes to the one Missouri is holding tonight. If Proposition C passes, Cunningham, a Republican state senator from Chesterfield, expects good things to happen in the other states as well. "If the heartland, the bellwether state, the Show-Me State sends a message to Washington, it's going to encourage other states to do the same," Cunningham said.
Precincts Reporting 3354 of 3354
Yes 667,680 71.1%
No 271,102 28.9%
Total Votes 938,782
* Election results as of 11:36:39 on 8/03/2010