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Prop C vote measures federal health insurance popularity

By Matt Sepic, St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis, MO – Missouri voters will decide Tuesday whether to opt out of mandatory health insurance. The vote on Proposition C is the federal health care overhaul's first official popularity test.

The measure's conservative backers want to deny the government authority to penalize citizens for refusing to purchase private health insurance.

The vote is largely symbolic because federal law generally supersedes state laws. But it's a direct challenge to President Obama's biggest policy accomplishment, and it has Democrats seeking re-election in November paying close attention.

Similar referenda will appear on ballots in at least three other states this fall; and five legislatures have already passed health-care opt-out measures.

Opponents of the federal health insurance overhaul hope all this state-level action will aid their challenges in court.