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Missouri To Vote On Challenge To Federal Health Law


Jefferson City, Mo. – A final vote by the Missouri House yesterday has authorized a referendum for August over the state's participation in the new federal health care law.

The referendum states that citizens and employers cannot be compelled to take part in any public or private health care system. It's designed to challenge the new health care law signed by President Obama that requires most Americans to have health insurance or face fines.

GOP House Speaker Pro-tem Bryan Pratt (R, Blue Springs) strongly supported the bill.

"Liberals in Washington DC can't dictate every single aspect of a Missourian's life, and we're gonna stand up for those rights," Pratt Said. "We're gonna stand up and say, Listen, the best folks to talk about what Missourians should do are Missourians."

State Representative Jeanette Mott Oxford (D, St. Louis) calls the bill meaningless.

"This is one of a number of election-year stunts that we've seen come before this body this year...it's trying to feed public hysteria about the new federal health care bill, and it's trying to drive a certain segment of people to the polls," Oxford said.

Oxford also says she believes federal law would trump any state law defying the federal health care law.

The legislation does not need Governor Jay Nixon's signature. The referendum will be held Tuesday, August 3rd.

Florida, Oklahoma and Arizona will hold similar votes in November.


Marshall Griffin is the Statehouse reporter for St. Louis Public Radio.
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