Recently, the Idaho legislature convened its session for 2011. While there are plenty of problems facing Potatonia, one that is particularly pressing is how to further protect its patients. In 2010, Idaho became a co-plaintiff with twenty-five of her sister states in a lawsuit lodged against the Federal government regarding the Constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordability Act (PPAA). With that legal battle expected to take exorbitant time to determine, the Idaho legislature took a bold step by becoming the first state to nullify the PPAA’s individual insurance mandate by enacting the Health Care Freedom Act. Similar legislation has since been introduced across the Union, and thus far has been adopted in six additional states (Arizona, Louisiana, Missouri, Oklahoma, Utah, and Virginia). This year, Idaho might go one step further with the Health Care Nullification Act.

The Idaho Health Care Nullification Act (HB 59), and similar bills currently under consideration in eleven other states, would declare the PPAA to be completely null and void within the Gem State and restrict any of its employees from implementing it. This act of interposition would give Idahoans peace of mind knowing that they will not have to worry about bureaucrats in D.C. making some of their most intimate medical decisions for them. They will not have to fret about bearing the costs of such a fiscally unsustainable scheme, nor about the army of tax collectors raised to ensure its funding. Patients already have enough on their plates (besides horrible hospital food). They do not need the Feds exacerbating their conditions, let alone vexing the healthier populace to the point of psychological pain.

In addition to nullifying the PPAA, the Idaho legislature is also taking under consideration a partial nullification of Federal narcotics laws. The Idaho Compassionate Use of Medical Marijuana Act (HB 19) would interpose on behalf of seriously or terminally ill patients who, along with their physicians, believe the use of cannabis to be the most effective method for managing the pain associated with their afflictions. Such conditions considered are those connected to cancer, HIV/AIDS, multiple sclerosis, and several other specificities. While the act would not permit patients and/or their caregivers to grow cannabis at home, it would initially allow for six dispensaries evenly divided between three regions of Idaho (up state, mid state, and down state). Common sense restrictions regarding use in public or being under the influence while operating motor vehicles or heavy machinery would apply, as well as harsh penalties for charlatans seeking to cheat the system.

With these two acts now making their way through the legislature, Idaho is priming itself to be THE place for interposition in 2011. Having already passed Health Care and Firearm Freedom Acts, it is clear that Idaho has embraced nullification as a means of combating Federal tyranny in this second decade of the 21st century. No further proof is needed that the Spud State is no dud, and may its efforts in pursuance of freedom, liberty, and Constitutionally-confined government blossom this spring.

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