(Paul Jacob/Common Sense) – Last week, nearly a million Missourians tramped off to the polls to choose candidates in the primary as well as decide ballot issues. One issue, Proposition C, the Healthcare Freedom Act, made history, if not the news.
Missouri became the first state to vote on a specific repudiation of a key element of the healthcare legislation, namely the federal government’s mandate forcing individuals to purchase medical insurance. Prop C passed with a whopping 71 percent of the vote. It wasn’t close — even though opponents of the measure, Missouri’s Hospital Association, outspent supporters by better than three to one.
At The Missouri Record blog, Patrick Tuohey argues that “the vote in Missouri will have powerful repercussions.” Obviously, when Missourians voted they wanted their votes to count, to matter, to mean something. But according to White House spokesman Robert Gibbs, the Missouri vote meant “nothing.”
Funny, you probably didn’t hear about Gibbs’s dismissive comments. You might not have even heard about the Missouri healthcare vote. For some reason, the three dinosaur television networks, ABC, CBS and NBC, didn’t even mention the vote on the following evening’s broadcast.
The Missouri vote suggests the Democrats’ healthcare legislation is none too popular. But Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid offered, “It’s very obvious that people have a lack of understanding of our health care reform bill.”
While the people are speaking up loudly and clearly, the response of government officials in Washington is to cover up their ears.