Louisiana Governor, Bobby Jindal, had some negative words to say about building a health insurance exchange in his state. In a November 16, 2012 letter to Department of Health and Human Services Secretary, Kathleen Sebelius, Gov. Jindal made it very clear that he disagrees with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
Since the PPACA was signed into law, the State of Louisiana has repeatedly stated that the law has severe legal problems, is bad policy, and is unworkable. Those beliefs remain unchanged. With the Supreme Court’s decision in National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius, the Court agreed with the State of Louisiana that at least one of the over 450 provisions of the PPACA is unconstitutional and the provision requiring all individuals to have insurance coverage can only be upheld as a tax. Even after the Supreme Court’s decision, there remain many questions about the legality of the PPACA involving issues fundamental to all Americans, including religious freedom and unjust taxation.
What is most interesting here is that Governor Jindal is taking the position that the State of Louisiana has independently reviewed the constitutionality of the federal act. Is this a tip of the hat to the Principles of 98?
The letter also argues that while the Supreme Court has ruled certain provisions of the PPACA constitutional, there are still certain provisions the court did not rule on, and are currently being challenged. These include:
- The Employer Mandate
- Federally Facilitated Exchange Subsidy
- Preventive Care Mandate
- Maintenance of Effort
- Origination Clause
- Independent Payment Advisory Board
- Legality of Rulemaking/Guidance
Gov. Jindal says no further action will be taken by Louisiana until these issues are resolved.
While there has been a recent surge in other states saying they also will not be creating a state health exchange, Gov. Jindal seems to be taking it a bit further. He even says that the issue of healthcare is a power best left in the hands of the States, and that the PPACA should be repealed.
“States know how to take care of their residents more than the bureaucrats in Washington, distant both in geography and in experience… States need to be given the tools to solve these problems. The PPACA should either be repealed or replaced with a system giving States the ability to truly innovate.”
If Gov. Jindal is serious in his claims, then he is exactly correct. The Tenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution states that, “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.” Since healthcare regulation is not a delegated power given to the federal government, it is a power reserved to the States. Refusing the PPACA’s enforcement is the “rightful remedy,” the term coined by Thomas Jefferson that calls for nullification of federal laws that go beyond their constitutionally enumerated powers.
To learn more about state health care nullification, click here.