by Michael Cannon, CATO Institute The latest Kaiser Family Foundation tracking poll provides a fascinating look into how factors other than the content of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act affect people’s views of that law. Kaiser asked respondents their views of the PPACA, alternately describing it as “ObamaCare” and “the health reform law.” Here’s what happened:…Details
Remember a couple of months ago when the Obama administration sent letters to four states promising to use federal agents to enforce Obamacare if the states failed to? Well, it appears that smug arrogance may have been a bit premature.
Reuters reported last month that many of the Affordable Care Act’s supporters are getting concerned that the states are not doing enough to support the legislation and that, without their help, enough people may not sign up. It turns out that there is good cause for these concerns because “most states have balked at the exchanges and the Medicaid expansion.” The exchanges are the infrastructure on which Obamacare is built and the states’ refusal to create them has created complexity for the federal government’s efforts to implement it.
Talking about the federal government’s limited ability to advertise the program, one advocate said, “It’s going to require a very robust effort in the private sector.” The expectation of this would appear to be an unwarranted exercise in optimism given the fact that the public “is highly skeptical…about the most complex social legislation since…the mid-1960s.” A recent poll shows that only 37% of Americans think that Obamacare is a good idea while 49% believe that it is bad. Only 38% of respondents think they will be better off as a result of the ACA.Details
Michigan is following the lead of Colorado and Washington as their State Legislature has proposed a bill that would decriminalize possession of marijuana and another that would affirm the right of medical marijuana dispensaries to operate.
House Bill 4623 was introduced in April by Rep. Jeff Irwin (D-Ann Arbor) and was co-sponsored by six other legislators as well. This bill would reduce possession of small amounts of marijuana to a civil infraction punishable by a small fine and would serve as an important rebuke of the war on drugs, one of the federal government’s most evident ongoing policy blunders.
Although this bill does not completely legalize marijuana for possession and cultivation, it does prevent people found with up to an ounce on them from being prosecuted criminally. Instead of potentially facing jail time and heavy fines, first time offenders would be fined no more than $25 dollars with second time offenders fined a maximum of $50 and offenses from that point on would be fined no more than $100.Details
HB 3785, authored by Rep. Charles Perry (HD 83), has been referred to the Federalism & Fiscal Responsibility Committee. This bill nullifies Obamacare in Texas and interposes against taxes created or increased by it. It’s not captioned as such, but those of us who worked on this bill call it the “Texas Taxpayer Protection Act”.
Part of the bill states:
The assumption of power that the federal government has made by enacting the “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act” (PPACA) interferes with the right of the people of the State of Texas to regulate health care as they see fit.
Also, the bill states the United States Supreme Court decision upholding the PPACA as a tax is invalid. One of the reasons stated was:Details
The Tenth Amendment Center’s four step road map to nullification of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) includes 1.) Refuse to implement the state-run health care exchange; 2.) Reject the Medicaid expansion; 3.) Pass Health Care Freedom Legislation; and 4.) Full nullification of the PPACA inside the state’s borders. Here in Pennsylvania, step 1 has been accomplished and a coalition of activists are currently working to accomplish step 2.
Representative Matt Baker has now continued progress on step 3 with the introduction of HB273, the Health Care Freedom Act. This act provides for the right of the individual to purchase private health insurance and prohibits any law from compelling an individual, employer, or health care provider to participate in any health care plan or system. It currently has 42 co-sponsors and it is assigned to the House Committee on Health, of which Rep. Baker is the chair.Details
According to recommendations from the Tenth Amendment Center, there are four major steps that states can take to play a part in the nullification of the Affordable Care Act, AKA Obamacare. (read about all four here)
So far, Tennessee has passed a Health Care Freedom Act and has rejected a state exchange, The third and first step, respectively. Senate Bill 1 (SB 0001) is a consideration of the second step in the nullification process: refusal to expand Medicaid.
SB 0001 was filed Nov.7 by Sen. Brian Kelsey and co-sponsored by Sen. Janice Bowling. Rep. Jeremy Durham said he will file the companion bill in the House.
SB 0001 states:
“Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, the state shall not establish, facilitate, implement or participate in the expansion of the Medicaid program pursuant to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Public Law 111-148, as amended. SECTION 2. This act shall take effect upon becoming a law, the public welfare requiring it.”
The Medicaid website reports:
“Beginning in January 2014, individuals under 65 years of age with income below 133 percent of the federal poverty level (FPL) will be eligible for Medicaid. For the first time, low-income adults without children will be guaranteed coverage through Medicaid in every state without need for a waiver, and parents of children will be eligible at a uniform income level across all states.”
If SB 0001 passes, and Tennessee refuses to expand Medicaid, Tennessee will be one step away from full Obamacare nullification – passing a federal health care nullification act.
Recently, the Supreme Court ruled that Obamacare was constitutional.
The Administration takes this as a green light to implement ObamaCare to its fullest extent possible. Because the election went in President Obama’s favor, the Senate and House have lost any desire to overturn the law. Without the overturn, it looks like the law making Obamacare a reality is going to stand forever.
Or is it?
In order to make Obamacare work properly, as it currently stands, there are two mainstays of Obamacare that must be carried out on the state level. Each state must implement an insurance exchange and they must drastically expand Medicare according to the law. These two items of ObamaCare will cost the states untold millions of dollars to implement.
When federal law goes bad, it is up to the states to protect their citizens. The legal theory is called nullification. Nullification is the idea that any given state has the right to invalidate federal laws that they consider unconstitutional. Somewhere along the line the Supreme Court got it wrong in their reasoning. Accordingly, it is like saying that since the government has a stake in GM it can create a law that says we can only buy GM cars. If we buy any other type of car we have to pay an extra tax on it.Details
By now, anybody who even casually follows the Tenther movement and the liberty movement in general has likely heard about the secession petitions circulating. Yesterday, I had personally gone from only hearing about Louisiana, to hearing my State of New Jersey had one too, to hearing the count was up to twenty States. That could be an old number by the time this makes it into the Tenth Amendment Center blog.
The language of these petitions is interesting, as they “ask” the federal government to let said States peaceably withdraw from the United States. Although I confess to having signed, originally for Louisiana upon first finding out, and then for New Jersey, it was more out of curiosity than anything else.
Apparently, any State circulating these petitions requires a minimum of 25,000 signatures within thirty days in order to receive a White House response. Texas has nearly double the required signatures, and Louisiana is likely a day away from hitting the threshold. Several states are beyond halfway there. Check to see if your State is on the list. While you’re at it, go ahead and sign, so you can get your response. The most likely response from the White House is a familiar word to anybody in the nullification movement, “No.”Details
Last Thursday, Kansas Governor Sam Brownback refused to have his state to implement a health care exchange as part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. His office released the following statement:
Kansans feel Obamacare is an overreach by Washington and have rejected the state’s participation in this federal program. My administration will not partner with the federal government to create a state-federal partnership insurance exchange because we will not benefit from it and implementing it could costs Kansas taxpayers millions of dollars.
States have until Nov. 16 to inform the Federal Government of their intent of creating an exchange or leaving the creations and maintaining the exchanges by the federal government. Currently, 15 states and the District of Columbia have stated they will create exchanges.Details
This past weekend Mitt Romney said that “there are a number of things that I like in [Obamacare] that I’m going to put in place.” Such a revelation is yet another example of why relying on federal politicians -particularly of the Republican persuasion – to restore human liberty is foolish.
Throughout the primary season Romney assured Republican voters that he was against the Affordable Care Act and, if he was elected president, would put an end to it. In June of 2011 he told CNN’s Piers Morgan that “if I’m president I will repeal Obamacare.” (The entire clip is full of gems, and worth watching, if you have the stomach for such things). He continued this promise throughout the debates, and used it a number of times to parry attacks from Rick Santorum on the issue.
That he’s now reversing his rhetoric should come as no surprise. Such flip-flopping is standard fare with Mitt Romney, as virtually everyone is aware; his YouTube collections of contradictory statements and backpedaling are impressive, if not comical for their sheer numbers. Now, this is not to say that other politicians don’t also have similar montages, plenty do, but what’s striking about Romney’s are that some go on for twenty minutes.
No doubt some conservatives and right-leaning independents are surprised and disappointed by this shift,Details