Defending traditional families

A Public Square Perspective on ObamaCare, Its Impact on Missouri, and the U.S. Supreme Court’s Ruling

Today’s announcement regarding the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling on ObamaCare serves as a reminder that we all owe a great debt of thanks to the majority of our members of the Missouri General Assembly.

Following the passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) at the federal level, citizens’ demands that the State establish protective measures immediately became the biggest grassroots outcry from every corner of Missouri.  This move by the federal government has sparked the biggest and longest sustained citizens’ reaction to the encroachment of federalism and socialism since the New Deal and threatens to unseat the Goldwater and Reagan legacies for activating a sleeping public.

The President’s proposed health care takeover has brought the nation to the brink of an outright revolt.  In response, our elected representatives at the State level have passed several measures in attempts to prohibit or limit implementation of the PPACA in our home State.  Multiple bills have been introduced in the Missouri General Assembly by over a hundred lawmakers.  Over the past three years this issue has dominated the Capitol in Jefferson City like no other federal issue in well over a generation!

Among the many bills adopted by the State Legislature and placed into state statutes, Missouri was one of the first to adopt the “opt-out” provisions of the PPACA.  This enacted a law to prohibit any health care exchanges created to implement the federal healthcare bureaucracy in Missouri from providing abortion related services or coverage (SB 793, 2010).  Then we saw the Legislature propose a statewide ballot initiative known as Proposition C (HB 1764, 2010) to protect Missouri citizen’s right to select their own private health care insurance, which was passed by the voters with a whopping 71% approval.

Just this year the Legislature passed SB 769 which included a provision prohibiting any state law from imposing a fine or penalty on a healthcare provider, hospital, or health care system for failure to participate in a health information organization.  And once again to help voters understand that the Missouri General Assembly is not submitting to intrusive federalism or ignoring the saber-rattling of voters, they passed SB 464 to allow voters to go to the polls this November and vote whether or not to prohibit the establishment of any federal health care exchange infrastructure through Gubernatorial executive order or any State agency actions.  This provision developed in the aftermath of various disclosures of attempts by the Obama administration and also by Governor Nixon to create such an infrastructure without legislative approval or oversight.

And this brings us to SB 749, which has concerned citizens holding their breath as pro-life and pro-abortion forces square off in a phone calling dual.  As the federal “ObamaCare” allowed some “opt-out” provisions related to abortion coverage, newer HHS rules designed to implement the program has erupted into a major battle ground over revelations of provisions requiring private employers to provide abortion, contraception and sterilization coverage!  The Legislature responded by placing SB 749 on the Governor’s desk.  The bill seeks to override the federal mandates on these provisions, which are seen as an affront to religious liberties.  But Governor Nixon has until mid-July to sign or veto the bill.  This battle line has drawn thousands of Missourians to the public square, and now the governor’s office is the center of a huge tug-a-war between pro-life and pro-abortion phone campaigns urging Nixon to sign verses vetoing the bill.

What happens in a few weeks is only guesswork, however no one can say that the Obama administration’s health care mandate is anything less than the biggest boondoggle for states like Missouri to wrestle with.  Today’s Supreme Court ruling on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act in no way settles the debate.  A sleeping giant has already been awakened and the American people, including Missourians, are outraged.

November 6th is the day to watch.  Today’s court ruling is the opinion of nine justices – but millions of voters will still get their day too!  This is why we remain the greatest nation on the face of the earth.  Now, if Christians will live out our mandate to be biblical Salt & Light on this issue as well as others, maybe God will hear from heaven and heal our land.  Edmond Burk said it best, “When America’s people cease to be good, America will cease to be great” (paraphrased).

May today’s ruling remind you of the extreme importance of the August and November elections!  And in the meantime, thank all veterans for protecting your freedoms from external threats, and those many Missouri Lawmakers who have worked so hard to protect you from Washington!