[SeMissourian.com] Overcast ~ 48°F  
River stage: 30.93 ft. Rising
Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2015

Editorial: Ballot language

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Much has been made recently of the phrasing used by Missouri Secretary of State Robin Carnahan for the upcoming ballot issue that deals with ObamaCare.

And for good reason.

The ballot language currently reads:

Shall Missouri law be amended to deny individuals, families and small businesses the ability to access affordable health care plans through a state-based health benefit exchange unless authorized by statute, initiative or referendum through an exchange operated by the federal government as required by the federal health care act?

What a loaded question.

Regardless of a person's viewpoint on the national health care act, it's stunning that the secretary of state, in her official capacity, approved and continues to defend this biased language. One of the secretary of state's primary responsibilities is to ensure that the state's elections are fair, yet she appears to be stacking the deck in her political favor.

It should be pointed out that the initiative was put on the ballot for political reasons, as are all such initiatives. Republicans are doing all they know how to do to oppose the national health care law, citing federal government overreach and high costs for implementation.

In reality, the ballot initiative is a question of executive power in Missouri. Voters will be asked to decide whether the governor should be allowed to set up health care exchanges with his executive authority or whether it should only be done through voter referendum or with legislative direction.

An exchange is an online market that would allow consumers to compare health plans. ObamaCare allows states to set up such an exchange by 2014 or have one operated by the federal government.

High-ranking GOP political figures filed a lawsuit Tuesday hoping to strike down the language, and offered some alternative ballot wording in the lawsuit that would be more straight forward. (GOP lawmakers who pushed this issue had an opportunity to write the language, but did not do so, leaving it up to Carnahan.)

It is vitally important to our society that our voting process rises above the political rhetoric. The ballot should not resemble a political push piece. In a state that forbids electioneering practices such as wearing a candidate's T-shirt or placing political signs at least 25 feet from the door of a polling place, it would be inappropriate for Carnahan's political pitch to appear on our ballots come Nov. 6.

Fact Check
See inaccurate information in this story?

Note: The nature of the Internet makes it impractical for our staff to review every comment. If you feel that a comment is offensive, please Login or Create an account first, and then you will be able to flag a comment as objectionable. Please also note that those who post comments on semissourian.com may do so using a screen name, which may or may not reflect a website user's actual name. Readers should be careful not to assign comments to real people who may have names similar to screen names. Refrain from obscenity in your comments, and to keep discussions civil, don't say anything in a way your grandmother would be ashamed to read.

Whatever happened to Prop B that was passed in 2010?

-- Posted by Simon Jester on Sun, Jul 15, 2012, at 6:47 AM

Yea, Prop B? Repubs are asleep at the wheel again.

-- Posted by vietnamvet on Sun, Jul 15, 2012, at 8:02 AM

Why should anyone be against affordable health care?

-- Posted by commonsensematters on Sun, Jul 15, 2012, at 8:23 AM

> Why should anyone be against

> affordable health care?

Such a question is a perfect example of being influenced by the *lying* title of a bill.

Obamacare does NOT make health care "affordable." Period.

What it actually does is give the Federal Government vast new power over one sixth of the American economy to dictate how it is to operate - i.e. CENTRALIZED CONTROL. ‎(By the way, Romneycare does the EXACT SAME THING too.)

‎("Ruthless pragmatism" were the exact words Obama used in describing the person he wants to head his Department of Health and Human Services.)

"Obamacare" inserts *an unelected bureaucrat between* every Doctor and Patient in the country now, and you can be sure of this - that person has a different set of priorities than either the Doctor or the Patient. Besides, how can any sane, rational person trust their healthcare decisions to someone -ANYONE- who doesn't even recognize the humanity of pre-born babies?????

Seriously, I have been predicting this kind of situation for DECADES. A generation that chooses (there's that word) to kill a good percentage of their progeny - judging them to be "unwanted" and "inconvenient" - should not be surprised when the day comes that THEY TOO will be judged by the same standard.

-- Posted by bzimmerly on Sun, Jul 15, 2012, at 8:46 AM

Obamacare is the best thing to ever happen to the GOP.

-- Posted by Simon Jester on Sun, Jul 15, 2012, at 9:59 AM

Knee-jerk right wing-nuts just cannot stand to read the truth when it interferes with their predisposed opinions. This is pretty funny..........

-- Posted by Raunchy on Sun, Jul 15, 2012, at 11:37 AM

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: