August 4th, 2010
11:58 AM ET
4 years ago

Republicans tout Missouri vote against health care law

 RNC Chairman Michael Steele is touting a primary result in Missouri where voters rejected a key provision of the new health care law.
RNC Chairman Michael Steele is touting a primary result in Missouri where voters rejected a key provision of the new health care law.

Washington (CNN) - National Republicans are touting a primary result in Missouri where voters overwhelmingly rejected a key controversial part of the new health care law. But Democrats downplay the significance of the vote, the first in which the new health care law was on a ballot.

More than 70 percent of Missouri primary voters Tuesday cast ballots in favor of Proposition C. The measure would allow state residents to opt out of mandatory health insurance, a key part of the new health care reform law, which was pushed by President Obama and Congressional Democrats. The proposition prohibits the federal government from requiring people to have health insurance or penalizing them for not having such insurance.

"In a significant blow to the Obama administration, the people of Missouri overwhelmingly struck down a central pillar of ObamaCare by passing a statute that prevents the federal government from requiring individuals to purchase health insurance," says Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele, in a statement. "By rejecting ObamaCare with nearly three-quarters of the vote in a critical swing state, Missouri sent a clear message to Democrats and the Obama administration that government-run healthcare is a gross overreach of the federal government that needs to be repealed and replaced."

In a full court press, the top Republicans in the Senate and the House released similar messages.

"All throughout the health care debate, Democrat leaders in Washington told themselves they could do what they want, and then persuade Americans after the fact that it was okay. Last night, the voters in Missouri overwhelmingly rejected that notion. The people of Missouri have sent a message to Washington: enough is enough," says Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky.

"There is one constant in the story of ObamaCare: the steadfast opposition of the American people to out-of-touch Washington Democrats' plan," adds House Minority Leader John Boehner of Ohio.

More Republicans than Democrats appear to have voted in Tuesday's primary. According to unofficial results compiled by the Associated Press, 577,612 ballots were cast in the GOP Senate primary, compared to 315,787 cast in the Democratic Senate primary. On Proposition C, 938,782 people voted, with 71 percent in favor of the measure and 29 percent opposed.

Democrats have a very different take on the primary vote.

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs Wednesday described the Missouri results as "a vote of no legal significance in the midst of heavy Republican primaries"

"It's essentially meaningless – there was a hotly contested Republican primary, and those voters were the ones voting on this. Also, it has no legal significance – and Democrats didn't pay any attention to it or even run a campaign against it because of it," a Democratic source tells CNN.

Since federal law generally trumps state measures, the fate of Proposition C will most likely be decided in court.

"Ultimately the courts are going to have to decide about states rights and federal authority when it comes to the Obama health care law. For now this is no more than another Republican talking point to use to energize voters for November and to try to keep the Democrats on the defensive," says Stuart Rothenberg, editor and publisher of the non-partisan Rothenberg Political Report.

But Republicans say Tuesday's vote is a sign of things to come in the upcoming midterm elections, when the Democrats will try to defend their majorities in both houses of Congress and their lead among governorships.

"Last night's decisive vote against a key provision of ObamaCare, arguably the cornerstone of the Obama presidency, shows how completely detached the Democrat agenda is from the American electorate, and is another reason why Republicans will win back the majority in November," adds Steele.

Americans appear to be divided on the overall law. According to a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation national poll released last week, the public's split on lawmakers should repeal the new law and replace it with new proposals.

–Follow Paul Steinhauser on Twitter: @psteinhausercnn

–CNN Congressional Producer Ted Barrett contributed to this report

Updated: 3:21 p.m.


Filed under: Health care • issues • Missouri • Popular Posts • RNC
soundoff (149 Responses)
  1. Dave

    Our health care system has many advantages and some problems too. But, the federal approach is clearly wrong – especially when you see the UK moving away from the government approach also!

    August 4, 2010 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  2. Lisa

    It's not "government run health care" that's the problem, it's the lack of a PUBLIC OPTION. The heatlh insurers can't be trusted with the rates and coverage we need.

    PUBLIC OPTION!!

    August 4, 2010 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  3. Duck Fallas

    Government-run healthcare IS a gross overreach of the federal government. Repeal Medicare NOW!!! Gutless weasels.

    Gee, If I asked ONLY republitards if they liked mandated insurance coverage, and only 70% said "no", I might think there is support for it from the general population.

    August 4, 2010 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  4. NYC REPUB

    It was a primary ballot..........Let's not over blow this "vote".........
    Healthcare reform, is now and forever, the law of the land.

    August 4, 2010 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  5. keith A. sillsbury

    Republicans love to makeup stories don't they. so where less than a third of the people of missouri vote in a primary the repubs want to say THERE IT IS. The facts are that these people, like most, don't know whats in the new laws and as normal, People are afraid of new things and if you have someone bad mouthing that just adds to it. missourians don't realize that as being one of the poorist states, the healthcare law will save them billions in state funds also.

    August 4, 2010 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  6. WashU Alum

    No surprise. 70% of the votes were in the Republican primary.

    August 4, 2010 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  7. Shucks

    And if they opt out, then they have no health care. I am all for them being allowed to opt out. But then your nearest physician will be in your closest alley. The fear mongering on the right is pathetic. Is there nothing they won't do to destroy the integrity of this country?

    August 4, 2010 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  8. diridi

    kick those bastards who say ill of health care reform....nation needs...

    August 4, 2010 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  9. wmscot

    When the Rush and Glenn groups with the help of the health and Pharma groups money to sway the minds of these poor midwestern people you will get this type of vote. What do the republicans have to offer ? More of the same type of insurance that we had when the Health and Pharma companies were turning down people with pre-exsisting illnesses or not allowing treatments that were proven to save lives due to the costs or the continual increases in the prices so the companies that did pay for the insurance had to pass more to the employees ! I am 62 years old and have cancer without a job. Who is going to help me out when I have sold my house ,depleated my shrinking 401k and any saving I might have had ? I hope that these Missorians know they could be next !!!!

    August 4, 2010 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  10. X

    The return of health insurance company abuse courtesy of the GOP.

    August 4, 2010 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  11. Gobama!

    "It's essentially meaningless – there was a hotly contested Republican primary, and those voters were the ones voting on this. Also, it has no legal significance – and Democrats didn't pay any attention to it or even run a campaign against it because of it," And I must also mention that Rep Boner needs to stop tanning....what a loon.

    August 4, 2010 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  12. Joe from CT, not Lieberman

    Good luck to the folks in Missouri when they discover that by opting out of the Federal Health Care programs that the insurance and pharmaceutical companies can charge residents whatever they feel like instead of being restricted to the group rates and fees established by that program!

    August 4, 2010 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  13. Tim

    Do the Math: 65% were people who voted on the Republican Ballot. Yes we all know Republicans are mad and showing at the polls in thousands. 35% of the people voted on the Democrat Ballot. Yes we know most Democrats aren't voting in the Primarys. If this vote had happened in November, then we would have seen alot more Democrats and alot more Independents. Then Ballots would have been more like 60% Democrats and 40% Republicans, and this pointless Bill wouldn't have passed. Don't believe it???? Put it on the Ballot in November.

    August 4, 2010 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  14. Sgt. John

    Keep touting, GOP, but tell us exactly who pays for the uninsured when they need care? We who have insurance do! We pay with increased premiums that are dump on us. You guys can't think systemically at all. Unitil hospitals or doctors insist on cash or refuse to treat the uninsured, we need some sort of solution. All you can tout at this point is the fact that you have a lot of voters that you have managed to scare with your lies. They don't have answers either.

    August 4, 2010 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  15. Malt

    Obamacare was passed using corruption, bribery, lies and strong-arming. It doesn't address the real problems of healthcare costs.

    I hope that it can be repealed and real reform that addresses the problems created.

    August 4, 2010 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  16. richard

    the democrats need to give states the choice to opt out .....people are just not that in to GOV'T . ie; rush --, fox- hannity -–o'really -beck and the grizzly mama , who have been extremely skillful.its like when you ain't got nothing else to do all day but rile the right and cause the leaks in the damn aka undermine . as a result a revisit on health care opt-out options should be looked at. the havemores don't need no help on this area they just want the tax breaks..... i just hope the wheels ain't coming off.

    August 4, 2010 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  17. Kate

    FEAR! We haven't had health care like this before! FEAR! This government is going to distroy us! Take a look and listen to the GOP – that's what one should fear! Remember Bush & Chaney? Now they seem like the sane and moderate ones of the party.

    August 4, 2010 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  18. Kahuna

    Ok Missourians. Let's have it your way. You don't have to buy health insurance. I don't want my tax dollars to subsidize your health care. Therefore, if you get sick or injured and show up at the hospital without insurance or a credit card with a $40,000 limit, you will be left on the curb. If you die, that's your choice.

    I for one am sick of paying for healthcare for millions of American citizens who criticise everything the Dems do and then stick out their hands saying gimme, gimme, gimme. Use the Republican healthcare plan; Die quickly.

    August 4, 2010 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  19. David

    Healthcare reform and medicare are no different, and if a state refuses the new heathcare then stop medicare for that state. Both are ran by the government,and if the fools (conservatives) would open the mind they would know that. let the country continue to have people without insurance. we are the last country in the world to provide some sort of universal care. why is that? Three letters; GOP!

    August 4, 2010 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  20. kcp

    If the dumb voters want Republican control again thats fine, just don't cry as loud as the last time when THE Great USA starts to sink again!

    August 4, 2010 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  21. Marty, FL

    The full story please...

    The "central pillar" of mandating insurance was actually a Republucan idea originally included in the GOP health proposal in 1993. In fact, there are Republicans still in the Senate who originally sponsored the mandate. This tranparent posturing now is simply partisan nonsense. It is no coincidence that too many "conservatives" are all of a sudden against it since the Dems were successful in actually passing health care for the American people.

    In case a health situation were to happen, the insurance mandate is based on personal responsibility–something (real) conservatives used to support.

    August 4, 2010 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  22. Hap

    Another red welfare state that takes $1.23 for every dollar they pay in taxes from the federal government. How about you pay your fair share dollar for dollar and then you get a say. Don't you just love people living off other peoples tax money telling us what to do? Please notice the dispropotionate amount of red states that get way more than they pay in taxes (Alaska's # 1 @ $2.55 to $1.00), what nerve they have complaining about anything. I say the blue states, that pay the bills, get together and pass a resolution that caps federal funding at a level equal to your states contribution, or you get no votes in the House and Senate until they get it together. How dare they live under the financial benifits we provide and question how we provide them, spoiled brats.

    August 4, 2010 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  23. Aaron

    Useless law. Federal law supersedes State and Local law. The repubs waisted taxpayer money with this vote.

    August 4, 2010 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  24. Chipster

    Interesting, Missouri voters also opposed slavery but also opposed emancipation.

    Perhaps we should pass the "Tim Pawlenty Health Care Plan" – don't force people to carry health insurance but don't treat them if they don't have insurance unless they can prove they can pay for treatment. Emergency rooms won't be nearly as busy but funeral services will increase dramatically!

    August 4, 2010 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  25. sharon

    How about a significant blow to the health of our waters/fish/plants/anilmals..............8-3-10.....large fish kill washes ashore......

    or.......................Earthquake in La. 8-10..............................................

    yes......the mud is going in.................so far nothing blowing out....................sea floor???????????????????who knows............

    ya think this is all over with?

    August 4, 2010 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
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