GOP cheers after Missouri voters ‘reject ObamaCare’
“Missouri voters on Tuesday overwhelmingly rejected a key provision of President Barack Obama’s health care law, sending a clear message of discontent to Washington and Democrats less than 100 days before the midterm elections,” the Associated Press reports.
The AP’s David A. Lieb adds,
About 71 percent of Missouri voters backed a ballot measure, Proposition C, that would prohibit the government from requiring people to have health insurance or from penalizing them for not having it.
The Missouri law conflicts with a federal requirement that most people have health insurance or face penalties starting in 2014.
Tuesday’s vote was seen as largely symbolic because federal law generally trumps state law. But it was also seen as a sign of growing voter disillusionment with federal policies and a show of strength by conservatives and the tea party movement.
“Republicans eyeing more momentum for the mid-term elections interpreted Missouri’s passage of Proposition C as a backlash against the White House and bigger government,” Bill Lambrecht reports for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
Republican National Chairman Michael Steele called Missouri’s rejection of the federal mandate to purchase health insurance “a significant blow to the Obama administration.”
Steele called the Missouri vote “another reason why Republicans will win back the majority in November” in congressional elections.
“By rejecting ObamaCare with nearly three-quarters of the vote in a critical swing state, Missouri sent a clear message to Democrats and the Obama administration that government-run health care is a gross overreach of the federal government that needs to be repealed and replaced,” Steele said in a statement.
“Democrats, who did little to combat Proposition C, were largely quiet about the Missouri results as the returns from Tueday’s elections circulated this morning,” Lambrecht adds.
Republicans are this morning hailing the vote as evidence of “the steadfast opposition of the American people to out-of-touch Washington Democrats’ plan,” in the words of House Republican leader John Boehner.
“The more the American people know about the Democrats’ new law – with its job-killing mandates, tax hikes, and Medicare cuts to set up a new federal entitlement and massive new bureaucracies – the more they oppose it,” he added. “How long will Washington Democrats ignore the will of the American people? What will it take for them to work with Republicans to repeal ObamaCare and replace it with commonsense reforms to lower costs?”
However, Brian Montopoli notes at the CBS Political Hotsheet blog, “While Republicans are pointing to the ease with which the measure passed as evidence that Americans are overwhelmingly opposed to the Democrats’ health care plans – Proposition C got 71 percent of the vote – opposition to the plan is not quite that high (though there is still more opposition than support). In a CBS News poll last month, 36 percent of Americans said they approve of the health care reform law, while 49 percent opposed it.”
At pollster.com, nearly every recent national poll indicates that — for whatever reasons — more and more Americans are continuing to change their minds on the health care plan.
A year ago, most polls showed the opposite: wide support for health reform.
In June of 2009 the New York Times reported, “Americans overwhelmingly support substantial changes to the health care system and are strongly behind one of the most contentious proposals Congress is considering, a government-run insurance plan to compete with private insurers, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll.”
When asked which party was more likely to improve health care, only 18 percent of respondents said the Republicans, compared with 57 percent who picked the Democrats. Even one of four Republicans said the Democrats would do better.
The Washington Post recently reported, “Opposition to the landmark health care overhaul declined over the past month, to 35 percent from 41 percent, according to the latest results of a tracking poll, reported Thursday.”
But that poll appears to be an anomaly.
According to the Associated Press polling, the debate is going up and down, but stands in stark contrast to where it was a year ago. The last AP poll showed 49 percent totally approved of Obama’s handling of health care, with 46 totally disapproving. Disapproving led the month before with 51 to 45, and the month before that by 52 to 44, but Obama had approval of 49 in March with 46 opposed.
In April of 2009, approval for handling of health care by Obama in the AP poll was 53 percent, with only 28 percent totally disapproving.
Of course, some of that disapproval comes from liberals unhappy with the abandonment of the public option. And while they most probably won’t be changing parties, there’s a chance that disappointed Democrats may feel unenthusiastic about voting this November, and perhaps beyond.