Anyone who knows me is aware that I am a Missourian by birth, and an Iowan by choice. This past week I was in my home state as the returns from the August 3 primary election were announced. For the most part, this was a typical off-year primary. There was a US Senate primary, and the “establishment” candidates for both parties got the nomination. Primaries were held in the 9 congressional districts as well as for county offices and state legislative seats. It was a primary that only those political activists for the most part would be the ones to participate-except for one thing: Proposition C.
Proposition C was placed on the ballot by the General Assembly and the fair ballot language read as follows:
A “yes” vote will amend Missouri law to deny the government authority to penalize citizens for refusing to purchase private health insurance or infringe upon the right to offer or accept direct payment for lawful healthcare services. The amendment will also modify laws regarding the liquidation of certain domestic insurance companies.
A “no” vote will not change the current Missouri law regarding private health insurance, lawful healthcare services, and the liquidation of certain domestic insurance companies.
Amazingly 939,000 Missourians showed up at the polls–the most ever for an off-year primary election and gave this measure a 71% approval. Even more interesting is that 20% of those who cast a ballot in the Democratic primary also voted “Yes” on Prop C, and nearly 35% of the those who showed up at the polls and requested their party ballot, voted only on the Prop C issue–and they voted overwhelmingly in favor of it.
What the result of this vote will be is still to be determined, but what this does is give the Congressional Democrats and the White House a chill up their spine. (Not to be confused with Chris Matthews’ chill up his leg). Why? Because Missouri is a bellweather state. In the past century, only twice have Missourians not voted for the eventual winner of the Presidential election. In 2008, one of those times, Missouri’s electoral votes went to John McCain, but only by 8,000 votes.
Missouri’s Democratic Senator, Claire McCaskill claimed during town hall meetings in 2009, in calls to her office, and in her comments during the debate on health care that the Health Care Bill as was proposed and passed in Congress had the support of Missourians. Earth to Claire??? Even after the Prop C results were announced, she stated that as soon as Missourians found out what health care reform was all about they would like it. I remember the same argument from my mother when she was trying to get me to eat asparagus…which is still my least favorite vegetable.
More states will be having similar votes on the health care reform package, and like Prop C they may or may not have any significance, but if they pass with the same super majority as Prop C did in Missouri, it will be undeniable. Hey, Missouri, I am proud of you! As for the rest of the nation: Take heed.