The only statewide issue on the Aug. 3 ballot is Proposition C, a referendum proposed by the Missouri Legislature that would, if passed, send a strong message to Congress and President Obama regarding mandates in the new federal health care act that require everyone to purchase insurance and impose fines for failure to do so.
In what is generally regarded as a symbolic vote, passage of Proposition C would require new state laws prohibiting these sweeping federal requirements. Passage would not overturn the federal law, and individuals could choose to participate in its provisions. The message relates to how far Missourians want the federal government to intrude on states' rights.
There is opposition to Prop C. One group urging caution is the Missouri Hospital Association, which is concerned that hospitals will have to provide even more free care to uninsured Missourians if the proposition passes and its main thrust becomes law.
(For a more detailed explanation of the Prop C pros and cons, see the articles on today's Perspectives page.)
There are other legitimate challenges to the new federal health plan being pursued by nearly half the states. Missouri's referendum will be the first to test the mood of voters and let them send Washington some important feedback.