Nebraska governor on health insurance exchanges: nope

LINCOLN, Neb. (Nov. 15) – Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman rejected setting up a health insurance exchange under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, saying it was simply too expensive.

Heineman made the announcement Thursday, one day before the deadline for states to commit to creating an exchange.

“The reality is that the federal health care law is being totally dictated and totally controlled by the federal government,” he said at a news conference. “On the key issues, there is no real operational difference between a federal exchange and a state exchange. A state exchange is nothing more than the state administering the Affordable Care Act with all of the important and critical decisions made by the federal government.”

The governor’s budget office estimated that a state run exchange would cost roughly $646 million between fiscal years 2013 and 2020, according to an Associated Press report. Heineman also said the state-run option was full of mandates, leaving little control to state lawmakers.


Alaska governor refuses to commit to state insurance exchange

JUNEAU, Alaska (Nov. 15, 2012) – Alaska Governor Sean Parnell reiterated Thursday that he will not set up a health insurance exchange under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

Parnell indicated he would not move forward with setting up the exchange last summer, saying that the feds should pay to set up a federal program, not the state.

On Thursday, the governor reiterated his position through spokeswoman Sharon Leighow

“The federal law passed more than two years ago and there are still many unknowns regarding the exchanges,” she said in an email to the San Francisco Chronicle. “Bottom line: Governor Parnell is not going to commit the state to a program that is largely undefined at this point.”

The deadline for states to commit to setting up an exchange is Friday.

Parnell joins a growing list of governors who have indicated they don’t plan to move forward with implementing a state-run insurance exchange. Tenth Amendment Center communications director Mike Maharrey said he wasn’t particularly impressed with the Alaska governor’s reasoning, but the decision to refuse to move ahead was a good one in and of itself.


Indiana governor-elect says ‘No!’ to health insurance exchanges

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Nov. 15, 2012) – Indiana Governor-elect Mike Pence announced today that he would not move forward with setting up a state insurance exchange in pursuance of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

Pence made his position known in a letter to current Gov. Mitch Daniels.

“I do not believe the State of Indiana should establish a state-based health insurance exchange because doing so will cost taxpayers millions of dollars and it is not clear that Hoosiers would benefit from incurring the cost of implementing this new federal healthcare bureaucracy. Without knowing more details on the cost and nature of state-based exchanges, it is possible that our state could be placed in the untenable position of serving as the administrator of a new federal healthcare bureaucracy over which we have little control.”

Pence estimates that creating the exchange would cost the state $50 million per year.


Florida Bows to the Feds

Governor Rick Scott (R-FLA), had this to say about Florida creating healthcare exchanges by Obama’s January 2014 deadline, “Just saying ‘no’ is not an answer.”

The statement, which seems to be a change in Scott’s stance on the healthcare law, shows the obedience of Florida state leadership in submitting to the feds.

Moreover, Florida State Senator Don Gaetz (R-Destin) made this comment.

“I don’t like this law, but this is the law, and I believe I have a constitutional duty to carry it out.” This raises the question; what should be the duty of state governments?

The Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution states, “This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof; and all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land.”

Clearly, the Constitution establishes federal law as supreme.  However, what if federal mandates go beyond their constitutionally enumerated powers?  The answer, comes from Thomas Jefferson, in the Kentucky Resolutions of 1798, “But, where powers are assumed which have not been delegated, a nullification of the act is the rightful remedy: that every State has a natural right in cases not within the compact, (casus non fœderis) to nullify of their own authority all assumptions of power by others within their limits.”


Election: Glass Partly Full

Isn’t it interesting—when Republicans win big, lefty spinmeisters talk compromise and bipartisanship. When Democrats win, even if they win small, lefty spinmeisters just want to crush everyone else.

So, not surprisingly, one of these sublapidarians is now arguing that the size of Obama’s win is a mandate for the “progressive” agenda. Beyond absurd.

The results were bad, but they were not that bad. Keep in mind that:

* Any sitting President gets several million votes from the exposure due to incumbancy—votes that have little to do with policy.

* Despite the celebrated demographic changes, Obama really won by the skin of his teeth—around a 2 percent margin, maybe less.


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:


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.


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.


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

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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

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.”