The Tenth Amendment declares emphatically that all powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution are reserved to the States, or to the people.
On Tuesday, Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted certified 426,998 petition signatures, more than enough to place a state constitutional amendment on the Nov. 8 ballot. If passed, the amendment will make it illegal for any local, state or federal law to require Ohio residents to purchase health insurance, effectively nullifying a key component of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act passed in 2010.
“This puts the decision making right where it belongs, in the hands of Ohioans,” Tenth Amendment Center communications director Mike Maharrey said. “The entire health care bill is unconstitutional, but not even the most twisted constitutional reading can wring out a federal power to require Americans to buy health insurance. Hopefully, the people of Ohio will take this opportunity to tell the feds to take a long hike off a short bridge.”
Polling seems to indicate they will. A March 2011 survey by the Health Foundation of Greater Cincinnati indicated that 57 percent of Ohioans hold an unfavorable view of the health care act.
Missouri voters passed a similar measure in August 2010 by an overwhelming margin. Prop C declaring, “no law or rule shall compel, directly or indirectly, any person, employer, or health care provider to participate in any health care system ,” garnered 71 percent of the vote in the Show-Me state.
Opponents of the amendment predictably appeal to the U.S. Constitution’s supremacy clause. Columbus Dispatch reporter Darrel Rowland wrote, “Some constitutional experts, though, have said the proposed amendment lacks real teeth because no state law, even a constitutional amendment, can override a federal law.”
“These so-called scholars the media keep marching out in opposition to health care nullification are only experts on the parts of the Constitution that supports their particular political agenda. They conveniently leave out important words,” Maharrey said. “Only acts passed in pursuance of the Constitution are the supreme law of the land. The supremacy clause doesn’t give the feds carte blanche power to enact any old law they want. It has to be within the scope of their delegated powers. Nowhere does the Constitution grant power to administer a national health care system. Nowhere. Individuals should decide, not some bureaucrat sitting in a musty D.C. office.”
In fact, health care falls squarely within the scope of power Madison said was left to the states and the people – powers that, “extend to all objects which, in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives, liberties and properties of the people, and the internal order, improvement and prosperity of the State.”
Ohio adds to a growing list of states taking action against the federal health care act. North Dakota passed a law declaring the entire PPACA null and void, and 12 other states have considered nullification bills. Twenty-one states considered a health care freedom act during the most recent legislative session with Kansas and Tennessee both signing it into law. They joined the seven other states that passed health care freedom legislation in 2010.
For more information in health care freedom legislation, click HERE.
For information on health care nullification legislation, click HERE.