TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (June 5, 2015) – Today, after a lengthy debate, the Florida state House soundly rejected a measure to expand Medicaid under Obamacare, an important piece of a multi-step strategy to “pull the rug out from under” the federal act.

According to research conducted the Advisory Board Company, at least 24 states have yet to implement the Medicaid expansion provision of Obamacare as of Feb. 2015. Some states have flatly rejected the expansion and have passed legislation banning the entitlement hike.

Refusing to participate in large numbers can, as Michael Cannon of the CATO Institute has noted, have a significant effect. “It is no exaggeration to say that by refusing to implement Exchanges and the Medicaid expansion, states can force Congress to reopen the PPACA.”

Judge Andrew Napolitano has said that the denial of Medicaid expansion (combined with further resistance measures) taken by a number of states would “gut Obamacare.” James Madison, writing in Federalist #46, said that such a “refusal to cooperate with officers of the Union” would create effective roadblocks to stop implementation of federal acts. That is what the state of Wyoming is well on their way to doing by rejecting this amendment.


During the Obamacare case before the Supreme Court, Rob Natelson and his colleagues at the Independence Institute argued that the law’s provisions forcing the states to expand Medicaid were unconstitutional. Neither the Constitution nor case law, they pointed out, permits the federal government to use federal spending programs to coerce the states. Seven of the nine justices agreed with them, essentially adopting the arguments advanced in their brief.

As a result, the states may decide, without federal interference – whether or not to accept additional federal funds for the Medicaid expansion. Accepting federal funds might seem to bring the states short-term fiscal benefits. But the fiscal risks of doing so are very great—perhaps eventual bankruptcy. Rejecting Medicaid expansion can help states stay fiscally solvent while making Obamacare more difficult to implement by the federal government.

The vote today in Florida was a powerful, and effective, rebuke of Obamacare.

“Our position at the Tenth Amendment Center is that we need to do everything we can to keep this thing (Obamacare) from getting its tenitcals into the system,” said Mike Maharrey of the Tenth Amendment Center. “We need to force the federal government to back off of this horrible health care plan and we need to go back and start looking at free market solutions and state-based solutions where states actually have some control and aren’t being dictated everything by the feds.”

Michael Boldin

The 10th Amendment

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