Health care reform backers said the Missouri referendum was less about health care and more about local politics in an election dominated by Republican primaries for U.S. Senate and House races, and others.
“The Missouri vote was nothing more than a Republican straw poll,” said Ethan Rome, executive director of Health Care for America Now, a coalition of unions and liberal advocacy groups pushing for affordable health care. “If supporters of reform thought this referendum was about the new law, we would have run a campaign against it. But it wasn’t, so we didn’t.”
But Rep. Roy Blunt, a Missouri Republican who is running for Senate, said the seeds of the referendum’s success were sown well before health care reform became law, when Democrats refused to listen to public concerns over the initiative.
“The more the public looks at the law, the less they like it,” Mr. Blunt said Wednesday while campaigning in Missouri.
Mr. Blunt predicted that national momentum to repeal the health care law will increase leading up to the 2012 presidential election.
“There are better answers out there for dealing with health care,” he said. “It’s not like the choice is do this or do nothing.”
Arizona and Oklahoma will have similar constitutional amendments on their November ballots to opt out of all or part of the new federal health care reforms.
The president’s health care reform took another hit Monday, when a federal judge refused to dismiss a legal challenge against the law by the state of Virginia.
About 20 other states also have challenged the law’s constitutionality.
“Obamacare hasn’t had a good week,” Mr. Tanner said.
c Stephen Dinan contributed to this article, which is based in part on wire-service reports.
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
Sean Lengell covers Congress and national politics and can be reached at email@example.com.
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