Archive for August 5th, 2010
Much hoopla and political punditry has been given over to the recent passage of “Proposition C” in Missouri. Proposition C, in effect, says Missouri law will not permit any tax to be levied by the federal government upon its citizens for failure to purchase health insurance. The issue was framed as a direct challenge to the health insurance mandate of the recently passed healthcare reforms.
Many Republicans and their leadership laud the passage of Proposition C as a death knell for healthcare reform in America.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
Proposition C received 71.1 % of the votes cast statewide but, reports show that little opposition was mounted to oppose the ballot measure and that only 16.27% of eligible voters turned out and supported Proposition C (667,780 of the state’s 4,104,834 million registered voters).
Voter turnout in normally large vote areas of Kansas City and St. Louis City were 12.78% and 13.56%, respectively. Clay County had 18.27%. Jackson County had 22.34 %. St. Louis County had 20.93%. These counties have 1,605,083 voters and make up 39.1% of Missouri’s eligible voters. Historically, the above counties have supported Democratic candidates and issues. The voter turnout in these counties has frequently provided the differences between victory and defeat in hotly contested state wide elections such as are expected in November 2010. It is simply not the case that the Proposition C vote indicates anything other than a well organized effort to get out the vote by its supporters in traditionally conservative areas of Missouri.
The Tea Party apparently did well in Missouri during the mid-term primaries this week. They (or someone) managed to stage contests for most Republican candidates, while most Democrats ran unopposed in our state. Why might anyone do this?
This piece of “legislation” is an arguably unconstitutional attempt to stop Health Care Reform by claiming States Rights against an unpopular provision in the Obama plan: Mandatory Health Insurance. Universal insurance is an attempt to pay for the impending regulation doing away with preexisting condition coverage denials. If everyone is covered, then there will be no preexisting conditions. But if everyone can sign up only when they need it and insurers cannot deny coverage, then insurers will go bankrupt and the Federal Government will have to completely take over. This is what they want? But Missourians voted overwhelmingly in favor of denying the Federal Government the right to enforce this provision necessary to interstate commerce.
But if you look at detailed election results, you’ll see that the vote on Proposition C is proportional to the ratio of Republicans to others who bothered to vote. In a state that was razor-close in November 2008, three Republicans showed up for each Democrat to vote in this primary.
Here is another view of this Proposition: What the passage of Proposition C in Missouri means, and what it does not mean. In brief, it is grandstanding. Given the likely turnout at the polls, and given the correct wording, it was an unsinkable piece of “voter mandate” with no actual significance. But it looks good as a jab-in-the-eye to an embattled administration. Unless you actually read about the issue.
But the point was to pick one unpopular clause of the 2,500 page law, and publicly display how “the people” are against the whole thing. I’m curious to see how the Tea Party will stack the November election. Will other states be so dumb?