Will Arizona Refuse to Create a Health Exchange?

This Friday will determine if Arizona creates a state-run, online marketplace for consumers to use when choosing health plans, or lets the federal government create and run a so-called “exchange” for the state. The issue has many people in Arizona concerned about their businesses and cost.

Brewer is among the Republican governors who oppose the law, but she has yet to indicate what course she’ll take, although the governor has received many phone calls and e-mails opposing the new federal health care law. The Govenor’s administration has spent millions of dollars of federal grant money on planning and preliminary work for creating a health exchange.

Brewer has said her administration has done a lot of planning to be prepared, but also indicated she was still studying the issue and hadn’t made a decision.

“I’ve got to decide (whether) it’s the right thing for Arizona,” Brewer said while noting she will need legislative approval.

Senate Health Committee Chairman Nancy Barto offered a similar assessment of legislative leanings but said Brewer’s office “at least on the exchange seems committed to take a chance on Obamacare.”

On a related health care law issue with similar state vs. federal considerations, Brewer decided it was better to have the state run its own program to review health insurance rates than let the federal government handle it.

Conservative groups such as the Goldwater Institute and Americans for Prosperity are calling for Brewer to stiff-arm the federal law’s mandate for an exchange. Meanwhile, social-service advocacy groups are weighing in with calls for the state to create an exchange that is friendly to consumers on affordability, convenience and oversight.

Some experts have weighed in that Brewer doesn’t even have the authority under the state constitution to implement the exchange. Why? Because in 2010, voters there passed the Arizona Health Freedom Amendment to the state Constitution, which reads in part:

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Operating an ObamaCare ‘Exchange’ Would Violate Ohio’s Constitution

by Michael F. Cannon, CATO Institute

Unconfirmed reports indicate Ohio officials are considering implementation of an ObamaCare health insurance “exchange.” That would be very interesting if true, because operating an ObamaCare exchange would violate the state’s constitution.

Section 21 of the Ohio Constitution provides:

No federal, state, or local law or rule shall compel, directly or indirectly, any person, employer, or health care provider to participate in a health care system…

“Compel” includes the levying of penalties or fines.

In order to operate an exchange, Ohio employees would have to determine eligibility for ObamaCare’s “premium assistance tax credits.” Those tax credits trigger penalties against employers (under the employer mandate) and residents (under the individual mandate). In addition, Ohio employees would have to determine whether employers’ health benefits are “affordable.” A negative determination results in fines against the employer. These are key functions of an exchange.

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What now?

The November 6 election outcome has many friends of the Constitution dispirited. As so often before, they hoped that by defeating federal candidates contemptuous of constitutional limits and replacing them with others, they could help restore our Constitution.

Obviously, that decades-long strategy has failedspectacularly.

They also have long hoped that by appointing the right people to the U.S. Supreme Court, they could win case decisions restoring constitutional limits. But after 40 years, that campaign has produced only indifferent results. Actually, worse than indifferent:  When, through the 2010 Obamacare law, federal politicians overreached further than they ever had before—by imposing a mandate ordering almost everyone in the country to buy a commercial product—the Court didn’t even hold the much-weakened line. Rather, the Court upheld the mandate.

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TSA Nullification, Rejecting Health Exchanges: Tenther News for the week of 11-12-12

This week’s episode is made possible in part by the new book, Our Last Hope. The status quo has failed you – voting the bums out is a failure as a strategy. This book offers a new path – one that is already winning. Get it online at tenthamendmentcenter.com/ourlasthope/

Coming off election victories in six states, the nullification is moving full steam ahead. This morning, Texas state Representative David Simpson filed House bill 80, the Texas Travel Freedom Act. If passed, the new law would make it a criminal act to intentionally touch “the anus, breast, buttocks, or sexual organ of the other person, including touching through clothing,” without probable cause in the process of determining whether to grant someone access to a public venue or means of public transportation.

The act also provides additional protection for minors.

A public servant acting under color of his office or employment commits an offense if he…removes a child younger than 18 years of age from the physical custody or control of a parent or guardian of the child or a person standing in the stead of a parent or guardian of the child.

If passed, the law would prevent TSA agents from carrying out the most intrusive pat-down searches at airports across Texas. Tenth Amendment Center communications director Mike Maharrey said it only makes sense to put limits on these types of personal searches.

“If you walk up to somebody and grab their crotch out on the street, it will land you in jail. Blue uniforms and federal badges don’t grant some goon the power to sexually assault you, or at least they shouldn’t. A person doesn’t forfeit her or his personal dignity with the purchase of an airline ticket.”

Simpson said that since the federal government won’t back off of these intrusive and unconstitutional searches, the responsibility of protecting its citizens falls to the states, and ultimately the people themselves. Simpson will talking about this legislation further when he joins Tenther Radio as a guest this week. Tune in live on Wednesday night at 9pm eastern at radio.tenthamendmentcenter.com

In Alabama, where people voted to ban health mandates by a margin of 60%-40%, Governor Robert Bentley seems to be stepping up to follow the instructions of the people there. In a press release after the vote, he stated, “The worst piece of legislation that has ever been passed in my lifetime by Congress is this quote ‘Affordable Health Care Act. It is not affordable and it is not health care. It is the worst — ah, I said that. I don’t have to say it twice.”

“They have made a mistake in the bill,” he continued. “When they wrote the bill, they only talked about state exchanges. So if I refuse — like a lot of conservative governors are doing — to set up a state exchange, then it’s going to throw a monkey wrench in all of the stuff that’s going on. And I’m telling you folks, the states may be the last great hope — to be the firewall — against the implementation of this health care bill.”

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