Thursday, February 23, 2012

Refuse Obamacare's State Health Exchanges:

excerpts from my dcrp post:

The DCRP's statement on the issue is that beginning to implement part of obamacare "just in case" is NOT the answer. Other organizations such as Americans for Prosperity and The Platte Institute for Economic Research agree.

Heritage Foundation scholar Ed Haislmaier warns that, "States should refuse to create any type of ObamaCare-compliant Exchange and send back all federal ObamaCare grants."

There should be discussion on how best to go about preventing/limiting the effects of obamacare on Nebraska if the Supreme Court rules the wrong way. As far as we know, this discussion currently is NOT taking place and we simply would like to encourage it, as opposed to beginning implementation of obamacare before the Supreme Court has even ruled on the case.

Nebraska is not the only state refusing to implement these health exchanges before the Supreme Court rules on the matter.

Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty signed Executive Order 10-12 in August 2010 that prohibited all executive department and state agency participation in federal health reform unless required by law or directed by the governor’s office. Florida Governor Rick Scott decided to wait for a Supreme Court ruling before continuing with implementation. Alaska Gov. Sean Parnell currently is planning not to comply with law after the Florida court ruling that PPACA is unconstitutional.  Add Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker to the list as well!

As Peter Suderman of the blog "" points out, "States whose legislators oppose last year's health care law have a number of reasons to refuse to participate in implementing its requirements, particularly when it comes to the exchanges. Refusing to play ball with the federal government ensures that the federal government will have to take responsibility for the complex details of the law's implementation. Given that Missouri's residents voted overwhelmingly last year to reject one of ObamaCare's key features, the individual mandate to purchase health insurance, it's clear enough where the state's voters stand. Finally, there's the constitutional question: Shouldn't states currently challenging the law's constitutionalitylike Missouristeer clear of implementing it?" 

So where should the discussion start on how to go about opposing the implementation of obamacare?

Do we start with the example of Texas and affirm Nebraska's Sovereignty under the 10th Amendment, designating that all compulsory federal legislation that requires states to comply under threat of civil or criminal penalties, or that requires states to pass legislation or lose federal funding, be prohibited or repealed?
We could join 16 other states that have considered measures to create an "Interstate Freedom Compact," joining forces across state lines to coordinate or enforce opposition; four states now have enacted laws. We could encourage participation in the compact from all 27 states currently challenging obamacare in court.

We could take a lesson from Catholic Bishops and refuse to enact a law that oversteps federal boundaries, challenging the President to flex his muscles and battle a majority of the Union. Several states considered bills that propose the power of "nullification," seeking to label the federal law "null and void" within the state boundaries.

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, "In response to the federal health reform law, now known as the Affordable Care Act (ACA), and separate state reform initiatives, some members of at least 45 state legislatures have proposed legislation to limit, alter or oppose selected state or federal actions. In general many of the opposing measures, in 2010 and 2011 focus on not permitting, implementing or enforcing mandates (federal or state) that would require purchase of insurance by individuals or by employers and impose fines or penalties for those who fail to do so. The seek to keep in-state health insurance optional, and instead allow people to purchase any type of health services or coverage they may choose. They also contradict or challenge specific policy provisions contained in the 2010 federal law."

There are plenty of other options discussed here.

And that's what this is all about…to get discussion rolling rather than throwing up the white flag!!! Let's take the lead!!!


B2 said...

“Governor Scott Walker became the most recent governor to reject implementation of Obamacare, saying he will return the $38 million federal taxpayer-funded grant. As of today, only 15 states had made significant progress towards the implementation, with the remaining 35 having either halted or decided against any action.”

It took awhile for Walker to catch on. He originally began implemenation. Petitions had to be circulated before he realized that implementation combined with the grant requirements are that a state would have to agree to surrender any last vestiges of meaningful control over how ObamaCare is implemented. Thus, a state would now have no more real control over an exchange it set up than over one HHS established, as per reported by Heritage Foundation.

Heck…even Senator Frank Lasee warned Walker that implementation of state exchanges would bring Wisconsin into compliance with ObamaCare, and start the process of formally embedding federal law into the state statutes. He warned Walker that once that door is open, it cannot be closed.

B2 said...

Just noticed the Nebraska Federation of College Republicans came out in opposition to the implementation Obamacare as well! As did several other conservatives such as Dave Nabity.

In favor of the State Health Exchanges…Ben Nelson!

B2 said...

Many hold the notion that we only have two choices, begin implementation of ObamaCare ourselves or have the feds do it for us. That simply is untrue. Once a state AG declares ObamaCare null and void, the federal healthcare law is dead–unless revived by an appellate court. Effectively, the state is relieved of any obligations or duties that were created under the terms of the federal health care law. Keep in mind, ObamaCare has been ruled unconstitutional several times now.

The Goldwater Institute stated, “States that establish exchanges are doing nothing short of the federal government’s dirty work. Worse still, they are being complicit in enforcing and entrenching this unconstitutional law.”

The choice is very simple. States that oppose the federal health care law should just say no to the exchanges. And for those states that have already received money, they should follow the lead of Florida, Oklahoma, and Kansas and send it back.

The Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States says “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

ObamaCare is unconstitutional and therefore, regardless of the result of the supreme court decision, ObamaCare can and should be nullified on the state level.

State nullification is the idea that the states can and must refuse to enforce unconstitutional federal laws. Thomas Jefferson said that “nullification…is the rightful remedy” when the federal government reaches beyond its constitutional powers.

James Madison said the states were “duty bound to resist” when the federal government violated the Constitution.

Obama wants to entrench ObamaCare in state statues so that even if it is ruled unconstitutional we will be too far down the line to reverse course. We must avoide the trap!

B2 said...

The CATO Institute agrees. Last week they called it simply reckless for financially strapped federal and state governments to pour resources into changing our health care system when those changes may not ultimately pass constitutional muster.

Governor Heineman states it only takes common sense to hold off at least until after the Supreme Court ruling.

B2 said...

Once a state spends millions of dollars to create an Exchange, and the private sector invests to transition into it, it will be difficult to stop, even with a sunset clause. The truth is, any state implementation will make it difficult to undo Obamacare — even if the law is ruled to be unconstitutional.

The Health Insurance Exchange has been called the:
◦”lynchpin” of reform (Deloitte)
◦”glue” that holds Obamacare together (CAE)
◦”centerpiece” of the ACA (Deloitte)
◦”most important aspect of health care reform” (The Washington Post).

The truth is, a state Exchange will become a defacto federal Exchange anyway.

B2 said...

Republican leadership on the national level has already opposed state exchanges. The House Passed H.R. 1213 – Exchange Funding Repeal Bill last May, 238-183. The White House obviously spoke out against HR1213 and it stood no chance in the democratic controlled Senate. All Republicans who participated voted for it; it also won the support of 5 of the 188 Democrats who voted.

The bill would repeal a health insurance exchange financing provision included in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (PPACA). The provision and related provisions are supposed to help states create state exchanges.

The bill was sponsored by Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich who called the grants for state exchanges, “another slush fund designed to push the states into doing what the administration wants using financial leverage.”

B2 said...

Good posts I found on the leavenworth street site. Plenty more there as well. I just didn't have time to copy and paste them all!