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Missouri voters stage revolt against Obama health-care reform

They approved a ballot measure designed to let them ignore the part of the Obama health-care reform law that requires people to buy insurance. More than 70 percent of Missouri voters backed it in Tuesday's vote.

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In a new CNN/Opinion Research poll, 54 percent of Americans said they disapproved of the president's handling of health-care policy. When asked whether the law should remain as is, whether government's role should be strengthened, or whether the law should be scrapped and replaced with something completely different, 20 percent of Americans chose to "leave as is." Some 48 percent said "repeal and replace," and 30 percent called for an enhanced government role.

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Public support for leaving the law as is has fallen 3 percentage points since CNN asked the same question in March.

In November, voters in Arizona and Oklahoma are scheduled to vote on ballot measures similar to the one in Missouri. But the votes may remain symbolic in nature. Legal scholars say it won't be easy for state laws to override the federal law.

A greater threat to the health reform law comes in the form of lawsuits that challenge its constitutionality. Earlier this week, a federal judge in Virginia allowed one of these lawsuits to go forward, challenging the individual mandate. Another lawsuit, filed in a Florida court, argues that the law requires states to expand Medicaid rolls without covering the added costs.

Another threat could come indirectly through the ballot box, if voters oust enough Democratic incumbents to shift the balance of power in Congress.

Many Americans support the concept of the individual mandate, as well as other aspects of Obama's plan. But many are also skeptical of whether the reforms will curb medical costs for them as taxpayers or as health-care consumers. Others worry the law will cause small employers to drop health benefits, forcing more people to buy insurance on a government-regulated exchange.

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