JEFFERSON CITY - As President Barack Obama works to pass his health care plan in Washington D.C., some Missouri legislators are doing their best to stop it.
The president's plan would require all Americans to carry health insurance.
In order to block national legislation like the health care plan, state legislators need to make changes to the state constitution by passing a constitutional amendment.
Republican legislators worked that amendment Wednesday as they debated a bill called the "Health Care Freedom Act." Legislators debated in the morning, recessed in the afternoon and resumed debate at 3:30 p.m.
The house voted to advance a plan that would ban the President's health insurance requirement. The "Health Care Freedom Act" bill aims to block the federal government from requiring people to buy health insurance. It also bans punishment for those without insurance. The bill now has first-round of approval from the house, and if it passes, Missourians will vote on November's ballot whether or not they should amend the constitution.
If the amendment passes, it would scrap the requirement out of Washington D.C. that individuals, employers or health care providers have to participate in the health care system.
Politicians have very different views on this matter.
"They want to send the message to back up Republican Senators and Representatives in D.C. to give them the power to say, 'This country does not want health care reform, when in fact they do want health care reform," Rep. J.C. Kuessner, D-Eminence, said. "This country is crying for health care reform."
"If we pass our resolution along with all other states, it could be a clear enough message to Federal government - they should cease their efforts in this area," Rep. Timothy Jones, R-St. Louis, said.
A sponsor of the "Health Care Freedom Act" said it should head to the state senate by the end of this week.
Across the nation, about two thirds of states are also considering constitutional amendments on health care.
The president is looking to win over those states, including missouri. He'll be in St. Louis next Wednesday to push for reform.