Inkwell has already commented on the politico-journo set’s attempt to dismiss the Missouri referendum that showed overwhelming rejection of the so-called individual mandate (the requirement that citizens buy health insurance). Instead of being dismissive, New York Times columnist Gail Collins’ is sarcastic:

Meanwhile, more than 70 percent of Missouri voters endorsed a measure that would wipe out the part of the new federal health care law that requires people to have insurance. They were unswayed by the fact that the proposition was almost certainly unconstitutional and unenforceable. This was a chance to send a message that voters are fed up! With government and insiders – unless they’re running for the Senate.

But it also seems fair to interpret the vote as a ringing endorsement of Americans’ inalienable right to avoid buying private health insurance and instead get medical care from public emergency rooms where the cost will be passed on to the taxpayers. Maybe it’s time to rethink the single-payer plan now that we have evidence that 71 percent of Missourians support the concept of socialized medicine.

People who didn’t support the mandate realize that the problem of the uninsured is serious and required reform. But the reform required was not a reconfiguring of a fifth of the US economy. Nor do citizens deserve such scorn for voting to preserve their liberty to make their own decisions about healthcare.