During his first public appearance since the election, Representative and former vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan spoke in Racine on Sunday to discuss the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). Joining Rep. Ryan were Cato Institute’s Mike Tanner, Wisconsin Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, and Wisconsin State Senator Leah Vukmir.
Addressing an audience that would have liked to have seen Romney/Ryan in the White House repealing and replacing ACA this month, Rep. Ryan noted that is not happening. Ryan then went on to say the next method in line for ACA to be repealed is that “it collapses under its’ own weight”.
Representative Ryan also said ACA is an issue that determines our debt, and our economy. He went on to say ACA is the issue that ultimately determines our freedom.
Certainly, Representative Ryan doesn’t want the United States to undergo a debt collapse like Greece, nor an economic collapse such as Japan, nor a collapse caused by lack of freedom such as the Soviet Union. Logic dictates that the 51% of Americans (Rasmussen) that want ACA repealed cannot feasibly wait for a collapse. Wisconsin must join the several states that are asserting states’ rights and saying “NO” to ACA.
Another federal politician, House Speaker John Boehner, has said that ACA was “the law of the land”. He was most likely recalling the constitution’s Supremacy Clause when he made that statement. We can add Boehner’s name to the long list of Congressman, Congresswomen, and Senators who cannot interpret and apply the Constitution and founding documents accurately. Only when a law is constitutional, does the Supremacy Clause take effect.
Some supporters of the ACA argue the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) ruled ACA is constitutional. Having the federal SCOTUS rule on the constitutionality of federally passed legislation is like having one’s mother make a ruling on their child’s ‘best child of the year’ award application. The states created the federal government. And the states, not the federal Supreme Court, as James Madison expresses in the Report of 1800, retained power as the final arbitrators of constitutionally.
States’ rights were used successfully against the federal government in the 19th century, when northern states used states’ rights to fight slavery. When the federal government passed the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850, requiring return of escaped slaves, Northern states did everything in their power to repudiate the enforcement of this fugitive slave law. Among the states, Wisconsin took the strongest stand against the federal government, declaring the 1850 federal Fugitive Slave Act unconstitutional and void.
Modern day examples of states’ rights include 26 states saying “No” to the 2006 federal ID card scheme known as Real ID. That law has not been implemented 7 years later. 18 states have defied federal government marijuana laws, and the SCOTUS ruling upholding those laws, as well.
Wisconsin currently provides health insurance to those living in poverty through the existing Medicaid system. Meanwhile, Wisconsinites are facing the continued implementation of ACA, which, if fully enacted, will take over 1/6 of our economy, further skyrocket the cost of healthcare and health insurance, and add to the already insurmountable mountain of debt facing our children.
When Paul Ryan, one of the most ardent opponents of ACA, and John Boehner has thrown up their hands on ACA, it’s time for states to take the baton. Wisconsin state legislators can make ACA “null and void” in our state. Let’s not wait for a collapse of our healthcare, freedom, or economy before we say “No” to the federal government.