June 22, 2010 04:00 PM

Over the past year’s debate over health care reform, voters have had many opportunities to make their views known.  The Tea Party movement rose up through rallies across the country.  Frustrated voters packed town hall meetings with their representatives to speak their mind.  While both of these were done to dramatic effect, we live in a republic and their effectiveness ultimately depended upon the actions of others.

In the 23rd Congressional District of New York and the special election for the Massachusetts Senate seat, voters had an opportunity to vote on health care reform, but it was by proxy at best.  They were voting for someone who they hoped would then vote to protect freedom.

Ultimately, the Congress passed the President’s health care reform bill.  While many saw this as a defeat for the movement that rose up to oppose it, the truth of the matter is that there is still much regulation, legislation and litigation ahead.

Several states’ Attorneys General have filed a lawsuit against the bill.  Many more states have enacted statutes in opposition to federally mandated health insurance and penalties for paying for care out-of-pocket.  A small handful of states have proposed constitutional amendments to that effect.  All these votes are to take place in November.  All except for one: Missouri.

The Missouri General Assembly passed the Health Care Freedom Act, placing on the August 3 primary ballot an opportunity for voters to approve a bill that would, “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.”

This referendum is remarkable for two reasons: (1) it gives voters a direct opportunity to affect the health care debate and (2) it is the first such vote in the nation, driving the debate for the next three months until the general election.

The committee urging a vote to protect our health care rights is called Missourians for Health Care Freedom, and our webpage is www.mohealthfreedom.org.  While only Missourians can vote on this matter on August 3, this is in every way a national battle—and it is the next battle in the fight for individual rights.  Whether you are in California, Florida, or some place in between, please consider riding to the sound of the guns and supporting us in our fight.  A victory in the Show-Me State will show Washington that Americans value our liberty and will not easily surrender it.


Patrick Tuohey is president of Market and Communications Research Inc., a public opinion and communication research firm he founded in 1999.

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This referendum is remarkable for two reasons: (1) it gives voters a direct opportunity to affect the health care debate and (2) it is the first such vote in the nation...


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