AUSTIN, Texas (March 16, 2015) – A bill introduced in the Texas Senate would prohibit the state from providing resources or personnel for the enforcement of Obamacare within the state, a move that would create significant roadblocks to implementing the health care act in Texas.

Introduced by State Sen. Konni Burton (R-10), Senate Bill 1112 (SB1112) would prohibit the state from participating in the ACA, better known as Obamacare, in any way, shape or form. Practically speaking, this would make it difficult, if not impossible, for the federal government to run Obamacare in the Lone Star State.

No funds, personnel, or other resources of the state or a political subdivision of the state may be used to enforce the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Pub. L. No. 111-148), as amended by the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 (Pub. L. No. 111-152).

The legislation would impact the implementation and execution of Obamacare in a number of ways.

SB1112 would end any involvement by the Texas Department of Insurance in enforcing Obamacare provisions. Insurance commissioners serve as the enforcement arm for insurance regulation in the states. If SB1112 passes, the Texas Department of Insurance would not longer be able to enforce federally mandated provisions of Obamacare. For instance, the ACA requires insurers to cover children until age 26. The state commissioner would no longer deal with these federal mandates. People having problems with federal insurance regulations would have to call the feds. And there isn’t any federal agency to call.

“Disputes over these mandates arise under federal, not state law,” said Mike Maharrey of the Tenth Amendment Center. “The federal Department of Health and Human Services cannot commandeer the Texas Department of Insurance to force them or to investigate alleged violations if this bill passes. And because at present there is no federal health insurance agency and Congress is not likely to create one given the substantial opposition to Obamacare, they’ll just have to figure it out on their own.”

The bill would also prohibit the creation of a state insurance exchange and expansion of Medicare under the Affordable Care Act. Texas opted to allow the federal government to create its exchange, but that doesn’t preclude a future governor from flip-flopping and authorizing one. By legislatively banning exchanges or Medicaid expansion under Obamacare, it makes it much harder for a future governor to reverse positions down the road.

Shifting the burden for Medicaid expansion and health insurance exchanges to the feds helps overwhelm the implementation of Obamacare. Some analysts suggest that the feds only have the capacity to do so in 30-40 states over the long term, and any more than that will ultimately collapse the system.

“I don’t expect the new governor to suddenly change course, but you never know,” Maharrey said. “Republican Governors around the country have flip-flopped on Obamacare implementation before, so we can’t really trust them to do the right thing. That’s why passing SB1112 is essential to provide additional protection for the people.”

Passage of SB1112 could also impact future IRS actions.

Currently, the IRS cannot place liens on people who refuse to pay the penalty for not having health insurance. But should the IRS ever gain approval to start using liens, SB1112 would prohibit county clerks or the Secretary of State in Arizona from recording them. Without liens, the IRS is already going to have a difficult time collecting, and if they’re permanently blocked from using them in Texas, that would represent a significant layer of protection for the people.


SB1112 is based on a long standing legal principle known as the Anti-Commandeering Doctrine. Over 170 years of Supreme Court precedent, dating from 1842, have supported the idea that states cannot be required to help the federal government implement or enforce their acts or regulatory programs.

The 1997 case, Printz v. US serves as the cornerstone. In it, Justice Scalia held:

The Federal Government may neither issue directives requiring the States to address particular problems, nor command the States’ officers, or those of their political subdivisions, to administer or enforce a federal regulatory program.

As noted Georgetown Law Constitutional Scholar Randy Barnett has said, “This line of cases is… considered well settled.”


If the bill is signed after it receives a supermajority in both state legislative chambers, it would take effect immediately. If it receives a regular majority in both chambers, after being signed it would take effect on September 1, 2015.

SB1112 will first be assigned to a committee, where it will need to pass before the full Senate can consider it.


In Texas, follow all the steps to support this bill at THIS LINK.

All Other states, take action against the ACA in your state at this link.

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