Health care. It has grown into a political time bomb of nuclear proportions. Obama has set the timer to detonate by year’s end. Now several states are considering ballot initiatives for the 2010 election which will, if adopted, allow these individual states to opt out of a national insurance program should the administration get one passed.
Indiana, Minnesota, New Mexico, North Dakota, and Wyoming are all working on such legislation, and the Arizona legislature has already passed such an initiative, which will appear on the ballot in 2010 (contingent upon the governor’s signature). I talked with State Senator Ron Justice of Oklahoma just this morning. He tells me, while no discussions are currently underway, such legislation will likely be discussed this year. I suspect other states will follow suit, as many see this as more than just a threat to individual freedom. It is a states’ rights issue as well.
From an article on FOXNews.com:
The Tenth Amendment ensures that “the powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” It’s the same constitutional roadblock Franklin D. Roosevelt ran into during the Great Depression when he tried to ram through the first round of recovery programs under the New Deal. In a series of rulings, the U.S. Supreme Court found the National Recovery Act, the Agricultural Adjustment Act and several other recovery programs unconstitutional.
The article goes on to discuss the fact that, any health care reform being signed into law which the current SCOTUS would deem unconstitutional is highly unlikely.
Conservative opposition, while more potent than it may appear on the surface, is hardly poised to stop Obama’s initiative, no matter what form it eventually takes. So the ultimate battleground may be the issue over states’ rights. In fact, I believe this (states’ rights) will be the issue that defines how far Obama is able to move the US toward his vision of a socialist nation. If conservatives want to win against Barack Obama, they must regroup their forces and make their stand at the state line, while preparing to take advantage of Obama’s gradually-falling approval numbers among likely voters in the next general election.
But, in the event of the passage of an Obama-style, national health care plan, and various states opting out of that plan, what actually happens to private insurers? Health insurance companies clearly fall under the “interstate commerce” category, which commerce can be federally regulated. How will such states as opt out of Obama’s national plan be able to maintain their access to private insurance if such insurance providers are forced out of business by regulatory means and/or unfair pricing advantages at the disposal of the government monopoly?
So, the question is, those states which vote themselves the ability to opt out of the government sponsored health care plan, will those states be able to provide their citizens with a viable alternative? If so, how will that be accomplished? What steps should be taken by individual states now to ensure this movement is not just a further waste of time and taxpayer money?