WASHINGTON, Aug. 4 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Last night, the state of Missouri voted to pass Proposition C, also known as the "Health Care Freedom Act," barring governments from requiring people to have health insurance. The measure conflicts with a key provision of the new federal health care law that requires people to have health insurance or pay fines by 2014. The proposition is modeled after the American Legislative Exchange Council's (ALEC) Freedom of Choice in Health Care Act, which has now been introduced or announced in 42 states.
"The people of Missouri sent a clear message to the President and Congress: we don't want government-mandated health care," said Missouri Senator Jane Cunningham, ALEC board member and lead sponsor of the referendum.
"Each individual vote on this proposition was an individual voice expressing frustration and disappointment with our federal government - we just hope the leadership in Washington hears this majority's voice," Cunningham added.
The proposal passed the Missouri House and Senate with bipartisan support and then was placed on the August 3 primary ballot. The proposition brought controversy and led some within the state to bring a lawsuit disputing the state constitutionality of drafting such a proposal. Cole County Circuit Judge Paul Wilson dismissed the suit, and which opponents failed to appeal.
"Proposition C will give Missourians the ultimate exit strategy at a time when Americans are faced with an unconstitutional federal requirement to purchase health insurance," said ALEC Health Task Force Director Christie Herrera, who is coordinating the nationwide effort.
"It will give Missouri standing in the current lawsuit against the federal health law; allow Missouri to launch future, 10th-Amendment-based challenges against the federal government if the current lawsuit is thrown out of court; and empower the attorney general to take up the case of individuals harmed by the mandate," Herrera added.
ALEC's Freedom of Choice in Health Care Act has already been enacted in statute form by the Virginia, Idaho, Arizona, Georgia, and Louisiana legislatures, and constitutional amendments will appear on the November ballot in Oklahoma, Arizona, and Florida. Active citizen initiatives are also underway in Colorado and Mississippi.
A complete map with links to the legislation in each state is available online at www.alec.org/focamap.