Missouri Voters endorse insurance companies denying pre-existing conditions

You may have heard the news that Missouri voters rejected the mandatory insurance aspect of health care reform in a state referendum yesterday.  A couple things…

1) Due to the primaries being contested, the electorate was quite Republican.

2) This is not even close to being Constitutional.  It’s so annoying for NPR to try and get all even-handed, “As NPR’s Ken Rudin noted Tuesday, the “constitutionality is all but certain to be challenged.”  Umm, yes, challenged.  But why not just be honest in reporting and tell readers/listeners that no serious Constitutional scholar would expect this to stand.  There’s this tiny little thing called The Supremacy Clause and just a couple hundred years of Supreme Court decisions on the matter.

3) Clearly loaded question wording:

Deny the government authority to penalize citizens for refusing to purchase private health insurance or infringe upon the right to offer or accept direct payment for lawful healthcare services?

One thing I can tell you, is that people really don’t like “penalties” or “government infringement.”  Describing opposition to legal abortion as “government infringement” is a great way to get 2/3’s  of American to take a pro-choice position.

4) I’ll say with 100% certainty that the vast majority of supporters have absolutely no clue that mandatory insurance is part and parcel of preventing insurance companies from denying pre-existing conditions.  You quite simply cannot have one without the other.  I suspect of the language had said something like, “rescind the policy preventing insurance companies from discriminating against you for having a pre-existing health condition” the results would have been quite different.

About Steve Greene
Professor of Political Science at NC State http://faculty.chass.ncsu.edu/shgreene

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