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

Republicans tout Missouri vote against health care law

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption =" 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the Obama administration that government-run healthcare is a gross overreach of the federal government that needs to be repealed and replaced."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. Haren

    Republican are going to rule this poor uneducated voters of all red state.
    I understand why they oppose education reform, they wanted to keep them uneducated like all middle east Shaikh.

    August 4, 2010 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  2. BobH

    Wow, so when it comes to health care, Missouri doesn't want the part about mandatory insurance. But they are perfectly FINE with part that prohibits insurance companies from banning people with pre-existing conditions. And they are too dumb to realize you can't have one without the other.

    If people can avoid buying insurance until they actually have big, expensive medical conditions, buy it while they're sick, and then terminate the insurance when they're better, then you've eliminated medical insurance completely.

    Is there public education in Missouri?

    August 4, 2010 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  3. Dano

    I think that the law should also state that anyone who opts out of mandatory health insurance would have to demonstrate the ability to pay their hospital or doctor bill BEFORE being treated. That way the rest of us don't have to pay for the irresponsible people's medical bills in the form of higher rates.

    August 4, 2010 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  4. YY

    So Missourians prefer to have those who have insurance foot the bill for the uninsured through emergency room care. How generous of those who have health care to insist that those without insurance never pay a dime for their own care. Common sense would dictate that the one provision that says everyone pony up for their own health insurance would have universal support. Oh, I forgot, this ain't about common sense. its about tearing something down for the sake of tearing it down.

    August 4, 2010 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  5. ThinkAgain

    Big deal! Republicans will do anything to hurt the American people. And as Rothenburg said, "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."

    GOP = Party Before Country

    August 4, 2010 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  6. cf

    I guess Missouri doesn't care that some people die simply because they can't afford hospital bills, and that insurance companies can deny converage to dying babies on "pre existing conditions." Congratulations, Republicans, this is your legacy. "Pro-life" my a**.

    August 4, 2010 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  7. JW in JH

    Okay, two things:

    1. OF COURSE it passed overwhelmingly. Suggest to voters that they can get something for nothing (increased consumer protections and health insurance access, with no mandate) - why would they say no? The fact that this has no legal standing and doesn't add up financially is not going to sway many people. If you put up a ballot measure that allowed people to "opt out" of paying federal taxes, that would pass too.

    2. I certainly hope that anyone who "opts out" of health insurance and then gets hit by a bus is going to pay every penny of the $30,000 hospital bill. Because I'm not going to subsidize you through my premiums.

    August 4, 2010 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  8. maf

    Easy to have a huge majority when only one party is voting!!!
    What it does say, is that 30% of REPUBLICANS support the Health Care bill and once it goes to bigger votes in November, it will PASS with a huge majority as the Dems push it through!!!

    GOP, this is a troubling sign of things to come. Spin it whatever way you want, YOU are the party out of touch and your base can go with you!!

    August 4, 2010 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  9. Deborah/Kansas City

    Bullcrap, the way the proposition was phrased was very biased. It asked if people wanted to "stop the government from interfereing with people who want to pay for healthcare out of their own pockets." For Republicans and all those mis informed people, those who cry for personal responsibility; you just gave people the right to have you continue to pay for their healthcare. They are too cheep to buy insurance and then show up in the ER and we tax payers pay for them. Why don't we just make it illegal for- The State- to force people to buy car insurance? Then we can pay for all the irresponsible people who don't want to pay for that either?

    August 4, 2010 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  10. jim

    It seems like everyone but Obama,dems and the mainstream media gets it in that the healthcare reform that was passed is nothing more than a sham played on American people. For example, the main reason we were told that we needed the bill was to lower cost because increases were spiraling out of control. Well, guess what insurance companies are still rasing their premiums and now that they are being forced to add more of the uninsured they will be forced to raise their premiums even more because their cost of doing business is going to rise even more.And while it's true that insurance companies can't deny people coverage now they just make it impossible for people to buy it because they move people to levels that they can't afford and ley them decide to drop coverage because it is beyound what they can pay.

    August 4, 2010 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  11. Red

    Could people possibly bother to note how ridiculously low the turnout percentage was?

    And that there were no contentious Democratic primary races AT ALL?

    And that the ballot language was deliberately confusing(double negatives sure are swell)?

    And, further, that there was *NO AD BUYS AT ALL* for the issue?

    August 4, 2010 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  12. Neal

    Mississippi morons...and their progeny elsewhere is the U.S. Misinformed, myopic, stick in the mud, no change is the best change, back to the 19th century throwbacks...U.S. health care is the joke of the modern western world. Any change, flawed though it is, still is much better that doing nothing...that hasn't worked for anyone in the past decades....wake the f*%@ up people

    August 4, 2010 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  13. Patrick

    This affects nothing. This state law cannot override federal law. It's pure garbage politics that only shows the power of lies told often enough.

    August 4, 2010 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  14. David Johnston

    Those people should be paying $50 for an asprin.After all the high price is cause we pay for people that don't pay.

    August 4, 2010 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  15. Tom-Vermillion, Ohio

    So, is Missouri now planning to secede from the Union?

    August 4, 2010 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  16. Greg

    We are so screwed...

    August 4, 2010 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  17. Rick McDaniel

    The point is......that if placed on a referendum.......ObamaCare would be rejected by the majority of Americans.

    Precisely why it should be repealed.

    August 4, 2010 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  18. Bob

    We the people didn't want this bill when they forced it through, and we still don't want it now! If only our elected officials would listen to the people!

    August 4, 2010 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  19. Nate

    On one hand I can agree with these people- not because the feds don't have the right or it's an overreach but because it's just a hand out for Big insurance companies.

    It's interesting to me that Republicans proposed and supported this very same legislation in 1995 and now they reject it. I wonder why??

    August 4, 2010 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  20. Julie

    If you look at Obama's original healthcare plan while campaigning for the Presidency, he did not want mandated healthcare coverage. That was one of the key differences between he and Clinton and Edwards. President Obama knew there would be a fight about that part of the newly passed bill. That doesn't mean the entire healthcare bill should be tossed. Make an amendment that repeals that portion of the bill. The Republicans had eight years to fix healthcare and all they did was line the pockets of their donors. ie. insurance & pharmaceutical companies. They don't stand a chance unless they rid themselves of their leaders – Steele, Palin, Rush, Boehner, and McConnell. How can anyone take their party seriously?

    August 4, 2010 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  21. DaninHbg

    What you have to LOVE about republicans is this: they ran congress for 12 years. During six of those years they also held the presidency. Yet not ONCE did republicans ever attempt to address the issue of health care reform. In that the GOP is a party of rich white people, and since rich white people tend to have GREAT insurance, their perception is obviously that there has never been a problem with healthcare in this country. Nothing evidences this lack of touch with reality better than John Boehner's comment last week that President Obama was attempting to destroy "the best healthcare system IN THE WORLD!" (The World Health Organization had the USA ranked 37th prior to the passage of the new law based upon quality of healthcare and medical outcomes delivered to the citizens of this nation.)

    Yes, this country has the best doctors, nurses and medical schools. But we are behind almost every other industrialized country when it comes to accessibility by ALL citizens.

    What's clear is simply this; people like Boehner are just scared that they might have to wait in line behind a brown or black skinned person to see a doctor. They love the current system the way it is, as it keeps those pesky poor people and minorities from getting treatment before rich white people.

    August 4, 2010 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  22. Ron

    What are they going to replace it with? They never tell us that...

    August 4, 2010 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  23. Riley

    Wait! Didn't Missouri vote for Obama? OOPS!!! Obama is in TROUBLE!!!

    August 4, 2010 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  24. November 2010

    The real vote on health care will come in 90 days......stay tuned.

    August 4, 2010 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  25. Blkman

    OK so republicans still will not give anyone "their plan". Could it be they have nothing to offer Americans but drama, drama and more stupid drama.

    August 4, 2010 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
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