- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 5, 2010

Obamacare faced voters for the first time Tuesday and was diagnosed as seriously ill.

By 71 percent to 29 percent, Missouri voters approved a referendum to invalidate any Obamacare mandate to purchase health insurance and any penalty for not doing so.

Proposition C reflects growing momentum to repeal Obamacare, an increasingly unpopular federal sinkhole that the American people do not want and numerous state and federal officials are working sedulously to reverse.

Obamacare’s latest defeat did not occur in Mississippi, Utah or some other right-wing bastion. Instead, this happened in Missouri, a swing state in which then-Sen. Barack Obama of neighboring Illinois won 49 percent in 2008, versus 50 percent for Republican Sen. John McCain. Indeed, Mr. Obama lost Missouri by just 3,903 votes.

Rather than accept responsibility for Tuesday’s setback, Democrats typically are faulting Republicans.

“The numbers are totally distorted because of the lopsided turnout,” Rep. Chris Van Hollen, Maryland Democrat, told the Associated Press, blaming heavy GOP voter participation. Of course, this coin’s flip side features Democrats so ho-hum about Obamacare that they failed to defend it.

Federal Judge Henry E. Hudson ruled Monday that Virginia may proceed with its lawsuit to overturn Obamacare’s individual mandate to acquire medical coverage.

“While this case raises a host of complex constitutional issues,” Judge Hudson wrote, “all seem to distill to thesinglequestion of whether or not Congress has the power to regulate - and tax - a citizen’s decision not to participate in interstate commerce.”

As Virginia Attorney General Kenneth T. Cuccinelli observed, “The government cannot draft an unwilling citizen into commerce just so it can regulate him under the Commerce Clause.”

Obamacare’s mandate redefines the individual’s relationship to Washington. If Washington can compel Americans to buy health insurance, why can’t it force each American to join a gym or eat a bran muffin every morning?

A constituent of Rep. Pete Stark, California Democrat, asked him at a June town-hall meeting: “If this legislation is constitutional, what limitations are there on the federal government’s ability to tell us how to run our private lives?”

Mr. Stark’s answer encapsulated Obamacare’s underlying statist philosophy: “The federal government can, yes, do most anything in this country.”

Twenty state attorneys general are in court battling Obamacare’s defining ideology, as embodied in the individual mandate.

Meanwhile, on Capitol Hill, 170 of 178 Republicans have signed Iowa Republican Rep. Steve King’s discharge petition to bring repeal language to the House floor.

“Our goal is to have 218 signatures on the discharge petition to force Speaker [Nancy] Pelosi to unclench her fist and allow a vote to repeal Obamacare,” says Michael Needham, chief executive of Heritage Action for America, a pro-repeal conservative advocacy group. “The fact that not one of the 34 Democrats who voted against Obamacare has signed this petition should lead voters to ask these congressmen if they now endorse Obamacare’s implementation.”

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