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Mo. Senate passes health care referendum


By Marshall Griffin, St. Louis Public Radio

Jefferson City, Mo. – The Missouri Senate has passed legislation aimed at getting the state to opt out of the recently-passed federal health care law.

The measure would bar the federal government from compelling anyone in Missouri to take part in any private or public health care system.

The original resolution was being filibustered by Senate Democrats, but Republicans got around it by adopting a similar House bill in its place and voting it out. Jim Lembke (R, St. Louis) was among them.

"And the first ten amendments, Mr. President, to that Constitution was to protect the people from their government...that's the effort that we are continuing in that spirit today," Lembke said.

State Senator Joan Bray (D, St. Louis) voted "no."

"I think it's an embarrassment to Missouri that we've got people who actually think we should vote for Missourians to not have to participate in expanded health care," Bray said.

The measure now goes to the Missouri House. If it passes there, it will go before Missouri voters in August, during the party primaries.

However many legal scholars say the measure and others like it elsewhere are only symbolic, because it's highly unlikely any state could usurp federal law.