Freedomnomics

Article published Wednesday, August 4, 2010, at Fox News.

Show Me State Sends a Message On Obama’s Health Care Law

By John R. Lott, Jr.

Missouri is a battleground state that is closely contested in almost every national election cycle. In 2008, only 4,000 votes separated Democratic candidate Barack Obama from Republican rival John McCain.

But Tuesday's 71 to 29 percent blowout vote on Proposition C left no doubt where voters stand as they handed President Obama's health care law a stunning rejection.

The proposition attempts to protect Missourians from the new federal mandate to buy insurance.

It also tries overturning the new federal prohibitions on insurance companies selling insurance directly to people.

The requirement to buy insurance and the prohibition on insurance companies selling directly to the consumer are two regulations that go to the very heart of the new health care law.

Americans were told that they had to accept these two insurance regulations because they were essential to lowering health care costs.

Yet, it is already clear that those claims are wrong. Even by their own estimates, Democrats now admit that the costs to the federal government are going to be hundreds of billions of dollars more than the $940 billion promised when the bill was passed.

The new health care law was supposed to make American companies more competitive and lower their costs, but it is now turning out that way. In fact, it appears that the opposite is true.

Company after company has had to report those higher costs to their shareholders. AT&T, Inc. faces a one-time charge of $1 billion, John Deere faces $150 million, 3M $90 million, Caterpillar $100 million, and Prudential a $100 million charge. These are just some of the well-known companies that have reported higher expected costs.

The costs are also going to be higher in other ways, too. Obama repeatedly promised: "If you like your plan and you like your doctor, you won't have to do a thing. You keep your plan."

But after the law was passed even The New York Times was forced to note: "That could come as a surprise to many who remember the repeated assurances from President Obama and other officials that consumers would retain a variety of health-care choices."

The broken promises over transparency, stripping out special interest deals, and forcing through a bill that was clearly opposed by the majority of Americans has, as the vote in Missouri shows, left many with angry.

The opposition is hardly limited to Missouri. Nationally, a Rasmussen poll finds that Americans favor repeal by a 58 to 37 percent margin.

Another new Rasmussen survey indicates that even liberal New Yorkers favor repeal by a 56 to 42 percent margin. The blowout in Missouri on Tuesday was much bigger than the polls suggested and indicates that opposition to Obama's plan may be much deeper than people realize.

With similar votes coming up in Arizona and Oklahoma even more people will get a chance to show their opposition. Missourians have given politicians a warning over how toxic Obama's health care law really is. If politicians don't run against the health care bill, they may will find that states like Missouri are no longer swing states.

John R. Lott Jr. is a FOXNews.com contributor. He is an economist and the author of "More Guns, Less Crime (University of Chicago Press, 2010), the third edition of which was published in May.".

Make your own free website on Tripod.com
Home

Johnlott.org (description of book, downloadable data sets, and discussions of previous controversies)

Academic papers:

Social Science Research Network

Book Reviews:

For a list of book reviews on The Bias Against Guns, click here.

---------------------------------
List of my Op-eds
---------------------------------

Posts by topic

Appalachian law school attack

Baghdad murder rate

Arming Pilots

Fraudulent website pretending to be run by me

The Merced Pitchfork Killings and Vin Suprynowicz's quote

Ayres and Donohue

Stanford Law Review

Mother Jones article

Links

Craig Newmark

Eric Rasmusen

William Sjostrom

Dr. T's EconLinks.com

Interview with National Review Online

Lyonette Louis-Jacques's page on Firearms Regulation Worldwide

The End of Myth: An Interview with Dr. John Lott

Cold Comfort, Economist John Lott discusses the benefits of guns--and the hazards of pointing them out.

An interview with John R. Lott, Jr. author of More Guns, Less Crime: Understanding Crime and Gun Control Laws

Some data not found at www.johnlott.org:

Updated Media Analysis of Appalachian Law School Attack

Since the first news search was done additional news stories have been added to Nexis:

There are thus now 218 unique stories, and a total of 294 stories counting duplicates (the stories in yellow were duplicates): Excel file for general overview and specific stories. Explicit mentions of defensive gun use increase from 2 to 3 now.

Journal of Legal Studies paper on spoiled ballots during the 2000 Presidential Election

Data set from USA Today, STATA 7.0 data set

"Do" File for some of the basic regressions from the paper