In it, but not of it. TPM DC

Missouri Health Care Reform Foes Hope Ballot Initiative Will Start National Trend

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Newscom

Partisans say that a yes vote will "protect us from those government mandates by expressly stating that the government may not 'penalize citizens for refusing to purchase private health insurance or infringe upon the right to offer or accept direct payment for lawful healthcare services.'"

Republican state lawmakers who helped to approve the measure in the legislature have donated to the effort while Gov. Jay Nixon (D) opposed it.

"After months of saying NO to Washington, Missouri voters have something to say YES to," boosters say. Health care supporters attempted to block the measure from the ballot, but lost in court last week.

The Secretary of State's office estimated the ballot measure "will have no immediate costs or savings to state or local governmental entities." But they added a cautionary note:

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.

The proposition's official spokesmen have partisan ties. GOP pollster and political consultant Patrick Tuohey is treasurer of Missourians for Health Care Freedom. He's used his state politics journal, the Missouri Record, to champion the proposition.

This referendum is remarkable for two reasons: (1) it gives voters a direct opportunity to affect the health care debate and (2) it is the first such vote in the nation, driving the debate for the next three months until the general election.

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While only Missourians can vote on this matter on August 3, this is in every way a national battle--and it is the next battle in the fight for individual rights. Whether you are in California, Florida, or some place in between, please consider riding to the sound of the guns and supporting us in our fight. A victory in the Show-Me State will show Washington that Americans value our liberty and will not easily surrender it.

Also pushing the ballot measure is Republican candidate Ed Martin in Missouri's 3rd Congressional district. He's challenging Rep. Russ Carnahan (D-MO), who voted for health care reform.