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Prop C supporters predict victory, blast hospital group for its opposition

State Sen. Jane Cunningham credited a higher power Wednesday with helping to build the apparent strong public support for Proposition C, the ballot proposal to seeks to exempt Missouri from the health care mandates contained in the new health care law.

"I do believe that God interferes in the affairs of men," said Cunningham, R-Chesterfield, during a fundraising rally Wednesday night in St. Charles aimed at promoting the measure's passage in next Tuesday's statewide election.

Cunningham and other legislative leaders -- including state Sen. Jim Lembke, R-Lemay, and state Reps. Tim Jones, R-Eureka, and Brian Nieves, R-Washington -- told the crowd of several hundred that money was pouring in for a final campaign blitz in favor of the measure.

The quartet repeated their longstanding assertion that the federal health care mandates violate state's rights, limit personal freedom, and are too costly.

Jones was particularly critical of new opposition efforts by the Missouri Hospital Association, which has posted a "fact sheet" on its web site that warns that if Proposition C is passed and upheld by the courts, "Missouri hospitals would be significantly disadvantaged."

The association also has sent out a mailer critical of Proposition C.

The legislator accused the association's members of caring only "about what they are going to lose from the bottom line."

Jones said that he has heard from physicians who support Proposition C. "I'll take the word of my doctor any day over an administrator in a suit," he said, touching off cheers.

But the crowd appeared most moved by Cunningham's dermatologist, Dr. George Hruza, who recounted once again how, as a child in what was formerly Czechoslovakia, his tonsils were removed without anesthesia because, Hruza said, the government overseers of that nation's system had sought to save money.

Another speaker, Brenda Webb of St. Charles, gave a more recent account of what she said had been an attempt by doctor -- "who apparently believed in Obamacare" -- to discourage treatment for her ailing 88-year-old mother.

Weber asserted that a strong Missouri vote in favor of Proposition C could be "the domino" that prompts other states to take similar action against the federal health care changes.

State Rep. Allen Icet, R-Wildwood and a candidate for state auditor, showed up at the rally to underscore his support.

And Thursday morning, U.S. Rep. Roy Blunt, R-Springfield and a candidate for the U.S. Senate, formally announced his support for Proposition C as well. A Blunt spokesman said the campaign had a representative at Wednesday's rally.

Blunt's campaign announced that he has "launched a new petition at RoyBlunt.com for Missourians to show their support for Proposition C, the Health Care Freedom Act." 

Blunt, who long has been opposed to the federal health care changes, said that he was supporting Proposition C because it is "consistent with his vote against the government takeover of health care in the U.S. House...."

This article originally appeared in the St. Louis Beacon.

Jo Mannies has been covering Missouri politics and government for almost four decades, much of that time as a reporter and columnist at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. She was the first woman to cover St. Louis City Hall, was the newspaper’s second woman sportswriter in its history, and spent four years in the Post-Dispatch Washington Bureau. She joined the St. Louis Beacon in 2009. She has won several local, regional and national awards, and has covered every president since Jimmy Carter. She scared fellow first-graders in the late 1950s when she showed them how close Alaska was to Russia and met Richard M. Nixon when she was in high school. She graduated from Valparaiso University in northwest Indiana, and was the daughter of a high school basketball coach. She is married and has two grown children, both lawyers. She’s a history and movie buff, cultivates a massive flower garden, and bakes banana bread regularly for her colleagues.

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