ObamaCare is truly the gift that (almost) nobody’s taking: In spite of Re-Re-extensions of the deadline for states to file plans to implement the state insurance exchanges, which must be up and running by October 2013, the majority of states (26+) have now flat-out refused to swallow the bitter pill.
Why would this federally sponsored program attract so much more opposition than, say, MedicAid?
Simple – with MedicAid, the Feds pick up most of the tab, and even with suffocating bureaucracy and constant attempts to pay providers less than their services are worth, most states find the program manageable, and they even have some degree of autonomy to tweak the program to suit local conditions. No such luck with ObamaCare – Not only are the health insurance exchanges supposed to become self-funding (EG state funded) by the end of 2015, but also, the rules and regulations are such that the Federal government is effectively managing the program, while the states which take the sucker bait get to pay the costs and suffer the blame from their citizens when it doesn’t work out.
But wait, there’s more – although the Feds can implement exchanges on behalf of states which refuse, only the state run exchanges can distribute the subsidies required to make the program work – Federally implemented exchanges do not have the authority to do so.
And more: Without the state run exchanges and subsidy system, the IRS cannot legally tax (fine) employers who have subsidized employees. That is another good reason many states are just saying no. With their backs up against the wall, bureaucrats at the IRS and HHS are rewriting the law to allow the Federally created exchanges to distribute subsidies and fine employers. Again, the states fight back – Oklahoma was first in line (David Catron in American Spectator):
This outrage prompted the state of Oklahoma to file an amended complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Oklahoma. The state points out that “The State of Oklahoma has exercised its right not to establish an Exchange” and that the provisions of ObamaCare “not only permit the State of Oklahoma to make this policy choice, but also created a mechanism … by which the State of Oklahoma can put its decision into effect.” It goes on to show that “The [IRS] Final Rule renders the mechanism inoperative.” In other words, Oklahoma complied with the provisions of the law and now the IRS has illegally ignored those provisions.
So, the long twilight struggle continues. Without its insurance exchanges, the Obamacare scheme simply will not work, but the states are fighting in the last ditch against an increasingly powerful and lawless federal government determined to foist them on us. If the states are bullied into setting up their own exchanges or the IRS gets away with its extralegal rule to fund federal exchanges, we’re probably stuck with it. Speaker Boehner’s bleak post-election assessment will have been correct after all.
Sounds like the Tenth Amendment is alive and well in more than half our states, but some are going even farther:
On November 6th, these states enacted protections against their citizens being compelled to purchase Federally mandated insurance (Tenth Amendment Center):
Wyoming, Amendment A – voters passed a health care freedom amendment to the Declaration of Rights in the state constitution. The Wyoming Constitution now guarantees citizens of the state the right to make their own healthcare decisions with minimal governmental interference.
Alabama, Amendment 6 – This legislatively-referred amendment frees Alabama citizens from any requirement to participate in Obamacare, or any other compulsory health care program. ‘Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of Alabama of 1901, to prohibit any person, employer, or health care provider from being compelled to participate in any health care system.’
Montana, Referendum 122 – is an act ‘prohibiting the state or federal government from mandating the purchase of health insurance.” It also prohibits the imposition of “penalties for decisions related to the purchase of health insurance coverage.’
Some states aren’t content with saying ‘hell no, we won’t play’ – some are actually enacting penalties for daring to mess with their citizens (Tenth Amendment Center):
South Carolina may soon join the ranks of states struggling to reclaim their constitutional sovereignty stolen from them by the federal government.
On December 11, South Carolina State Representative William Chumley pre-filed a bill in the South Carolina General Assembly that would prevent the enforcement of ObamaCare within the borders of the Palmetto State.
Using language that would prohibit state officials from participating in the implementation of state healthcare exchanges or from enforcing the individual mandate that are key elements of ObamaCare, Chumley’s measure — the South Carolina Freedom of Health Care Protection Act — requires state lawmakers to “prevent the enforcement of the “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act” [ObamaCare] within the limits of this state.”
South Carolina, a state with a long history of resisting federal despotism, joins three other states currently considering bills nullifying ObamaCare. The state legislatures of Maine, New Jersey, and Oklahoma have also had bills introduced aimed at stopping ObamaCare at the state border.
Simply stated, nullification is a concept of constitutional law that recognizes the right of each state to nullify, or invalidate, any federal measure that exceeds the few and defined powers allowed the federal government as enumerated in the Constitution. Nullification is founded on the assertion that the sovereign states formed the union, and as creators of the compact, they hold ultimate authority as to the limits of the power of the central government to enact laws that are applicable to the states and the citizens thereof.
In the proposed language of these bills, it would become a felony for federal employees, or agents acting on their behalf, to attempt to implement Obamacare within the borders of the state.
Maine? MAINE?!? And WE elected a bunch of socialists! Wake up NH!
I hereby call upon our surviving Senate Republicans to vote down any and all legislation implementing any part of Obamacare in NH, and I call upon you, dear reader, to help us hold their feet to the fire. 26+ states refusing to implement Obamacare exchanges, and some enacting penalties (jail) for even trying, means that there is a good chance the beast will collapse under its own weight. That does NOT mean we should sit back and let MaggieCare v2 bankrupt the state – our rallying cry can and must be ‘HELL NO’!
Tenth Amendment Center
David Catron’s Health Care BS
Heritatage Foundation – Why Obamacare implementation is risky business for the States
Breitbart’s Big Government – Financial burden of exchanges jeopardizes Obamacare