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the Obama administration that government-run healthcare is a gross overreach of the federal government that needs to be repealed and replaced."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.
My question was how many people who were eligible to vote actually voted? The follow up to that is - did all the people who voted vote on the question before them? We can say that some people had their say, but not all of them. We must understand also that there are other factors - how the question was phrased; what the adverstising was phrased and how much was there from either side as well as where it was done. This vote must be done in context.
Well what can you expect from a hicktown with hicktown mentality brought to by an inept nonfunctional education system. Wait till they suffer the consequence of their vote. Their bodies are not made of steel. wait till this people get sick. Missouri or Missoury or Missorry is not one of the richest state. in the country. I think this vote is triumph for the Republican whose memorandum is" if you get sick die quickly" So now if one Misoourian get sick they will only save money for burial . Good luck with that I think this is a triumph for Obama now he can spend that money on other state who really need them. As for the poor Educationally challenged Missourian. Hope they can deal with the outcome of their decision. They only have themselves to blame !!!
Republican obstructionism at it's finest! The insurance mandate was a Republican idea back in the late 1980's! CNN actually did a great job of covering this yesterday- you should all see the debate between Chuck Grassley and himself about the mandate.
Agreed, repealed and replaced with one of Obama's original ideas, Instead of this pile of mess they came up with in the name of bipartisanship.
MO., they are so dump..............this will back fire when they are in need of Health Care.......dump dump dump
So, it's OK to force people to have car liability insurance for their own good, but it's not OK to force them to have health insurance for thier own good? Come on, Republican pin-heads. This is not a big stretch for you. People without car insurance put all of us at risk of having to pay for their uninsured damage. The same is true for all those without heatlth insurance. We all pay for their poor health when they show up at the hospital with no money and no health insurance.
Oh so let me the right wing reuplican who turned out in the primary do not like the Health Care Law. I am shocked lol.
Sure – no one has to have Health Care. Until they get sick! Unfortunately, this is one thing we will all use at some time in our lives. What this vote says is what most cynics always say – nobody wants to pay for anything. It says people don't want to pay for Health Care. They just want to get sick and go to the Hospitals for free. What this vote says to me, is the Republican Party in Missouri is more Socialist than the rest of the country.
So, a Red Neck state is overly conservative...big deal!
And here I was thinking everyone was in love with the Dems healthcare plan
Someone smack these idiot rethugs before they kill us all.
Health insurance reform suffers because of compromises made by the Democrats and the lies told by Republicans.
The sad thing is that the health insurance business model performs best for patients under a single-payer plan. Proof of this can be seen in Canada (again, discounting for lies and showcase exceptions).
This is not an ideological judgement but a business judgement and any honest and capable analyst will confirm that.
What republicans don't understand (and don't really care about) is this is not about politics. This is about real people. Real hard-working Americans. This isn't a "blow to the Obama administration." This is a slap in the face to actual people who need actual help. I pray that someday republicans will give up this "us versus them" mentality and actually go to work for the people they represent.
All this vote shows is there are a lot of stupid, or misinformed, or terrified people in Missouri. and i'm sooo tired of people whining about having to buy health insurance like it was something they've never experienced before. ever hear of CAR INSURANCE???
Let's see the spin. I think the vote speaks volumes of how the majority of the US feels about Obamacare.
I applaud the voters of Missori for passing propostion C. I beleive that the Health care reform bill, as I call it healt insurance reform bill, was over reaching. I beleive that all have the right to quality health care. I belive that all desirve the right to have insurance. But the federal government should not telll people that they have to buy insurance or they will be penialized. The health insurance reform bill that is about to go into law will be the first step to government run health insuance just like they have in europe. If that happens our taxes will go through the roof. It is typle in Europe in some contries that they pay almost 50% of their annual wages on taxes to pay for the government health insurance.
When are we as Americans are going to put our foot down and tell Washington that we have had enouph. No more rasing taxes. No more not listening to Americans. It is time to vote the incumbents of both parties out and vote some new people in.
If they do not want it that is fine, but make no mistake if they do not accept it the government and hospitals must make sure that they are responsible for payment when the bill is sent out. Do not look for the tax payers to bail them out. Do not cry about the bill being too high and you can not pay.
I cant afford it now.How is making me have it going to get me money for it? I dont want or need the federal govt to play me like they do all the minorities and try to convince me I need them while keeping me down in reality. I can make my own way thank you very much. I dont need their hand outs, and dont need them to take from me and give it to others to buy votes. Foffanddie.
If Health Care Reform turns out to be a good thing, then these idiots should never be allowed to get in on this deal ever again.
not too bright over in Missouri, are they?
I don't like the mandate either, but the reality is that if there is no mandate the insurance companies will continue to ration care based on even mild pre-existing conditions and those who really need it will not be able to get insurance. That was the trade off, everyone will be eligible but everyone has to participate.
Personally, I prefer single payer universal like in England. It is less expensive and more fair. Get rid of insurance companies all together. Any time a CEO for an insurance company gets paid a $4million dollar or more salary, that is money you are paying in premiums that is not being spent on real health care. You don't have to worry about anyone in the government ever getting that kind of wasteful salary. In addition, Doctors are paid salaries not according to the number of useless tests they perform.
If you don't like the mandate, single payer-universal is the way to go; unless you like the system the way it is now, which means you have probably never really been sick.
Harry Reid for not passing it.
The utter contempt the republics have for America is clear, present and very dangerous.
Yeah right! "The People" in America thought at one time that blacks should be considered as 3/5 people. The majority of people in Germany at one time supported a regime that thought it was ok to put Jewish men, women and children in ovens and burn them to death...Just because a group of people think that something is ok or not ok doesn't make it right or wrong, nor does it make it constitutional or not constitutional. That's why we have the Supreme Court (and even they are not always right). But thank God that we don't rule by the tyranny of the majority! The true nature of the constitutionality of the law will be revealed once the Supreme Court has decided. Until then, these "referenda" are irrelevant.
Medicine that is good for you and can cure your ills rarely tastes good. That's why children and other immature people have to be coerced to take it. Americans who swallow the Fox news-Tea Party GOP version of health care reform sound like that to me. Sometimes we have to do things we don't like and are the best for the country. I bet 4,000 parents didn't like their sons and daughters dying in Iraq but the GOP slavishly backed the criminal administration of Bush and Cheney. This whole health care denial and immigration police state policy of the GOP is pure spite politics PERIOD.
It's Missouri. No big deal. Non issue.