A lesson from Kansas: federal health care marches forward

Last November, Republicans swept into office, not only at the national level, but also in the state capitals. Voters in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Maine, North Carolina, and Alabama shifted control of both of their state houses from Democrat to Republican. The GOP also took power in Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, and Pennsylvania, winning one previously Democrat controlled chamber, and the Republicans increased majorities in many other states.

Opposition to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act served as a driving force in many elections.

The newly empowered legislators went to work “fighting” the health care act, often referred to as Obamacare, introducing health care freedom acts in 21 states.  Kansas and Tennessee passed the legislation, which was signed into law by their respective governors, and Ohio and Florida voters will go to the polls in November 2011 to vote on state constitutional amendments.  They joined seven states that passed similar legislation in 2010. These laws generally grant the citizens of the state the freedom to make their own health care choice and are designed to nullify the insurance mandates written into the federal law.

While health care freedom acts provide a sturdy soapbox for politicians to stand on while bragging  of slaying the federal behemoth, the reality in many states proves somewhat less impressive. For all of the blustering about state sovereignty and dueling Uncle Sam, states still struggle to wean themselves from their insatiable appetite for federal funds as they move ahead implementing the structure for federal health care.

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II Submits Brief Destroying Basis for Suit against Colorado’s Taxpayer Bill of Rights

The Independence Institute, through Dave Kopel as legal counsel, has submitted anamicus curiae (“friend of the court”) brief opposing the lawsuit to overturn Colorado’s Taxpayer Bill of Rights. The brief destroys the plaintiffs’ claim that by allowing citizens to vote on tax increases, Colorado is violating the U.S. Constitution’s requirement that all states have a “republican…

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