When Missouri's voters went to the polls last night, they didn't just select who would appear on the ballot in November, they chose to reject a key provision of President Obama's health care law which passed in March.
An overwhelming majority -- 71% -- of Missourians backed Proposition C, a ballot measure that would prohibit the federal government from requiring people to have health insurance or penalizing them for not having it. The vote conflicts with a federal requirement set to take effect in 2014 which would require most people to have health insurance or face fines.
Congressman Jack Kingston (R-GA), who voted against the health care bill and is actively working to repeal and replace it with reforms that reduce the cost of care without growing government, highlighted the vote as the latest example of resounding opposition to the bill.
"The Pelosi-Reid-Obama machine may have rolled over the American people when they got this bill through Congress," Kingston said. "But Missouri has shown that the fight is not over. This vote is a clear sign of continued and resounding opposition to Obamacare's takeover of medicine. Congress should abide by the will of the people to repeal this bill and replace it with real reforms that bring down the cost of health care without increasing the role of government in our lives."
Earlier this year, Georgia's General Assembly enacted a similar law without bringing it to the ballot. It was joined in doing so by Arizona, Idaho, Louisiana and Virginia.
In November, voters in Arizona and Oklahoma will vote on constitutional amendments that would do the same. Missouri was the first state to challenge the law through a referendum.
The insurance requirement is one of the most controversial aspects of the law with many legal experts saying it oversteps the constitutional authority of Congress. Public officials in 20 states, including Georgia, have filed lawsuits challenging the constitutional basis for the law. A preliminary hearing on that case is set for September in Florida.
In Washington, Kingston has cosponsored legislation that would repeal the controversial bill and has sought to replace it with reforms that focus what he calls the fundamental problems within the nation's health care system.
Among such reforms, Kingston cites medical liability reform, giving individuals and big companies the same tax benefits when purchasing health insurance and allowing the purchase of insurance policies across state lines.