Missouri health care measure one step closer to state ballot

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May 5, 2010

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JEFFERSON CITY, Missouri: The Missouri Health Care Freedom Amendment may appear on the 2010 statewide ballot following a vote by the Senate on Tuesday, May 4. The Senate voted 26-8 in favor of referring the proposed legislatively-referred constitutional amendment to the ballot. Missouri is one of several state's across the nation debating a federal health care law signed by President Barack Obama in March 2010. Some state's have joined a national lawsuit, while others, including Missouri have proposed a measure to ask voters whether or not to have a "freedom of health care choice."[1]

The Missouri proposal is sponsored by Sen. Jane Cunningham. She argues that the measure is about protecting personal liberties and allowing Missouri residents to choose whether to accept federal health care without any penalties. Other lawmakers argue that the health care legislation crosses into states' rights and oversteps its own federal power. Sen. Jim Lembke said,"If the federal government is going to make all the decisions for us, why are we here?" However, opponents argue otherwise. Lawmakers point to a "similar mandate" that requires lawmakers to cover treatment for autistic children - approved in March 2010 by the Missouri State Senate.[2]

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