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Vote ‘No’ on Prop C
Once again Missouri stands in the eye of the storm.
While the attorneys general of several states have taken the federal government to court over the newly passed Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, aka health-care reform, ours is the only state to hold a statewide referendum on the question of whether an individual can be required by federal law to purchase private health insurance.
This measure pits some of the largest corporations and their leadership against the largest health-care institutions (which, not so ironically, are themselves large employers) and their leadership.
The corporate leaders and the political leaders who share their sentiments see requiring health-care insurance as infringing on individual freedom. The health-care leaders point to car insurance as an example of a government mandate requiring individuals to submit to the rule of the sovereign.
They also point to EMTALA, the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act, which requires emergency care be provided regardless of the ability of the patient to pay for it. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander would be one of their arguments.
Others would like to frame this as a states’ rights issue and still others, the Libertarians and Tea Party followers among them, do not want government doing much of anything.
The notion of individual freedom is the cornerstone of the Bill of Rights, a place where liberals and conservatives, media and those it covers, find solace and protection.
Yet every freedom comes with some governors. The classic example used when discussing the First Amendment is that while free speech is protected, you cannot yell “fire” in a crowded theater because you are putting people at risk.
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