The Show-Me State Sends a Message

President Obama and the Democratic congressional leadership predicted soon after the passage of their health-care bill that the public would soon come to support it after they learned more about the law’s provisions. Missouri’s voters decisively rejected that argument yesterday, passing by a wide margin an initiative that would outlaw the individual mandate.

While some commentators have suggested this was fueled by high Republican turnout, the results suggest otherwise. The measure passed in every county save one, heavily Democratic St. Louis City. It was approved by over 70 percent in virtually every county, and by 60-62 percent even in strongly Democratic counties such as Jackson, which includes Kansas City, Boone, which includes the University of Missouri, and St. Louis and St. Genevieve counties.

As everyone knows, the Rube Goldberg contraption known as health-care reform falls apart if there is no individual mandate. Without forcing people to pay for health insurance, many people would choose not to buy any. Those people would likelier be younger and healthier, meaning that those who did enroll would be sicker and older than the general population. This would increase the cost to insurance companies, quickly making them unprofitable and sinking our entire private insurance market.

The Show-Me State has shown Washington that its bill won’t fly. Whether the verdict is delivered by the people or the courts, real health-care reform will be back on the table sooner than you think.

Henry Olsen is director of the American Enterprise Institute’s National Research Initiative.

Henry Olsen — Henry Olsen is an elections analyst and political essayist who studies conservative politics, both here and abroad.

Most Popular


Courage: The Greatest of Virtues

EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is Jonah Goldberg’s weekly “news”letter, the G-File. Subscribe here to get the G-File delivered to your inbox on Fridays. Dear Reader (Or Listener), As the reporter assigned the job of writing the article about all of Sidney Blumenthal’s friends and supporters told his ... Read More

My American Dream

This morning, at 8 a.m., I did something I’ve wanted to do for as long as I can remember: I became an American. I first applied for a visa in early 2011, and since then I have slowly worked my way through the system — first as a visa-holder, then as a permanent resident (green card), and, finally, as a ... Read More

The Gun-Control Debate Could Break America

Last night, the nation witnessed what looked a lot like an extended version of the famous “two minutes hate” from George Orwell’s novel 1984. During a CNN town hall on gun control, a furious crowd of Americans jeered at two conservatives, Marco Rubio and Dana Loesch, who stood in defense of the Second ... Read More