For Immediate Release: Feb. 14, 2011

Tenth Amendment Center responds to AARP opposition to health care nullification

Last week, the AARP came out strongly against attempts in Idaho to nullify the federal health care act passed last year, saying “As if Idaho’s budget woes weren’t bad enough, legislative efforts to ‘nullify’ the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act could cost the state billions of dollars and the loss of thousands of health care jobs, all the while forcing seniors to go without needed prescription drugs.”

But Tenth Amendment Center executive director Michael Boldin points out that AARP’s opposition has more to do with its support for national health care than a principled opposition to nullification, saying for all of its passionate defense of the act, the organization misses the real point.

“This isn’t about whether government health care is a good thing or not. It’s about whether the Constitution gives Congress the authority to regulate it at all. It clearly doesn’t.” Boldin said. “Health care is an issue left to the states. There’s no power delegated to the feds to run Idaho’s health care system. That should be left to the people of Idaho to work out for themselves. Not to have a one size fits all solution imposed by politicians thousands of miles away in D.C.”

Boldin said AARP’s position vividly illustrates how politics and pragmatism lead people to ignore the protections of liberty built into the Constitution. And he warns that sweeping aside those protections simply to advance a given political agenda – even a worthy one – can have dangerous and far reaching ramifications.

“If we simply ignore the Constitution so we can institute something like national health care – something we believe is for the good, we lose any moral high ground when somebody else comes along and usurps the constitution to advance something we find dangerous. How can you protest the constitutionality of something like the Patriot Act when you’ve completely ignored the Constitution to advance your health care agenda?” Boldin asked. “This is not about politics. It’s about principle. Follow the Constitution every issue, every time, no exception, no excuses.”

The Tenth Amendment Center wrote model legislation upon which the current Idaho nullification bill was based. The legislation passed out of committee last week and will now go to the full House for consideration.


Editor’s Note: On Wednesday, 02-16, House Bill 117 passed by a vote of 49-20.

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