Election 2012

Anti-ObamaCare Measures on the Ballot in Florida, Missouri, and Other States

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Presidents and pot aren't the only items on ballots today. Florida, Missouri, and a number of other states have ObamaCare-related ballot measures up for vote too. 

In Florida, voters will consider whether to amend the state's constitution to prohibit laws mandating the purchase of health insurance. It's a measure aimed directly at Obamacare's most controversial feature: the indvidual mandate. The only problem is that, realistically, it won't matter much. The amendment would serve as a clear expression of voter discontent with ObamaCare's individual mandate, but wouldn't be able to prevent the mandate from taking effect, because state laws that conflict with federal laws are invalid. Nor is Florida the only state voting on this question. According to The Wall Street Journal, there are similar symbolic measures up for vote in Alabama, Montana, and Wyoming. One possible practical effect, however, is that these measures might help draw anti-ObamaCare voters to the polls. 

Missouri voters, meanwhile, will vote on a measure with a little more kick: Show Me State ballots will feature a potential amendment to the state constitution barring the governor from creating an insurance exchange under ObamaCare. If the amendment passes, the governor will have to get approval from either the state legislature or another ballot measure in order to create an exchange. The measure doesn't prohibit exchange creation completely. But a governor would not be allowed to use an executive order to create an exchange, which would probably leave it to the federal government to try to set one up — a task it may have more than a little trouble accomplishing.