By: Ben Lewis, Ohio resident
In general, Ohio politicians are not a courageous bunch.
The decline from Robert Taft Sr., leader of the opposition to FDR’s New Deal, continues steadily and uninterrupted. Because of this, I was not surprised this week when news began surfacing that current governor, Republican John Kasich, would permit the federal government to create a health care exchange in Ohio, contrary to the wishes of Ohioans who rejected the individual mandate with a state constitutional amendment in 2010.
Being a good Tenther, I called Governor Kasich’s office and was transferred to one of his aides. She sounded like she had just gotten out of fifth period geometry. I told her that I was interested to know what the decision would be on the health exchange, and that I was concerned about the reports I had read. I was quickly assured that I would “be happy to know that he is going to let the federal government set up the exchange and force them to pay for it.”
As far as I can ascertain, the governor’s strategy is to force Washington to realize that they don’t have enough money to pay for the exchange in Ohio. I guess this is based on all the times in history when the federal government discovered it didn’t have enough money to fund a program and decided that it had to be abandoned.
I responded by explaining that I am actually not happy to hear about this strategy, that I don’t think we should be hopeful about calling the federal government’s bluff on whether or not they have the money to pay for the exchange. I explained that what I think will likely happen is that they will either increase taxes or just print the money needed, therefore putting the cost back on the taxpayers.
Her response: “You’re probably right.”
Before we ended our conversation, I asked her to pass on the word to the governor that at some point the states just have to stand up and say. “No!”, and use the Tenth Amendment as our guide.
This conversation underscores the importance of being active in the local and state process. Regardless of Governor Kasich’s weak strategy, the Ohio movement to nullify Obamacare continues, with the goal of getting a bill to the floor of the Ohio House in 2013. To do this we will be in continual contact with our state representatives. Politicians, adept at following the rule of self-preservation, are always going to be receptive to movements that they think will cost them their jobs. In Ohio we must make it clear that we will vote at the ballot box or that we will vote with our feet, but we will not accept subservience to unconstitutional mandates.
For model health care nullification legislation, click HERE.