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Powers that Be Reserved — States Stiff-Arming Obamacare

By Tanner Giles

“Neither a ‘state insurance exchange’ nor the expansion of Medicaid under the Orwellian-named PPACA would result in better ‘patient protection’ or in more ‘affordable care’;” Gov. Rick Perry, in a letter to Sec. Sebelius, confirmed that he stands with the “growing chorus of governors who reject the PPACA power grab.”

A total of seven governors have rejected the new law: Gov. Nikki Haley (SC), Gov. Scott Walker (WI), Gov. Rick Scott (FL), Gov. Bobby Jindal (LA), Gov. Phil Bryant (MS), Gov. Dave Heineman (NE), and Gov. Rick Perry (TX).

The consensus among the seven is not only that the two main provisions of Obamacare create a bad policy in their respective states, but also that the law itself is an intrusion of the sovereignty and Constitutional Rights of the states and the individual.

As Gov. Perry stated, the two provisions of Obamacare under question are: 1) the creation of a ‘state insurance exchange’, and 2) an unfunded expansion of Medicaid.

Though the creation of a state insurance exchange should not be overlooked, Gov. Heineman explains how an unfunded expansion of Medicaid would directly affect Nebraska:

“State aid to education for the Omaha, Lincoln, North Platte and Lexington public schools and many other Nebraska school districts will be cut… Special education funding for all Nebraska school districts will be cut… Funding for the University of Nebraska at Lincoln, Omaha and Kearney and the University of Nebraska Medical Center will be cut… The unfunded Medicaid expansion will ultimately cost the state of Nebraska hundreds of millions of dollars.”

Gov. Haley adds that while questions remain whether to cut government programs and kill jobs, or risk bankrupting the state with deficit spending, there’s no question with the enactment of Obamacare set for 2014; “We are looking at one of the largest tax increases on the American people we have ever seen.”

When it comes to the PPACA, Gov. Scott sees a graver concern than the logistics of executing the forced policy; he voiced skepticism and trepidation regarding the federal government’s ability to micromanage each of the fifty states effectively with an unfunded one-equal-size-fits-all mandated policy:

“With the national economy struggling to recover, now is not the time to implement a massive social program that injects nothing but uncertainty and doubt into our economic system.”

Though the direct and unique impact the policy has on each individual state is severe, what these seven governors are uniting against lies beyond how each state will manage to adjust to the new national social program; what’s at stake, as Gov. Perry affirms, is “our Constitution and our founding principles… the sovereignty of our state;” keeping each state from becoming “a mere appendage of the federal government.”

Gov. Jindal agreed, “Today’s decision is a blow to our freedoms,” and Gov. Bryant echoed those sentiments: “It is a stunning expansion of federal power and an assault on the liberty of American citizens.”

Since the seven governors have united against the audacious overreach of federal power, the effort in Congress to repeal Obamacare is gaining momentum as well, with a recent victory for the GOP-controlled House passing H.R. 6079 with a margin of 244-185.

There’s hope that neither the sovereignty of the states nor the Constitutional Rights of the individual will be conceded or taken without a fight; nor will the idea of the experiment the framers had of liberty, in which no matter what party affiliation won the last Presidential election, in theory, a socialized nanny state with outlaws on ‘large sugary drinks’ can always be neighbors with a libertarian utopia without seatbelt laws.

When Benjamin Franklin was asked, “Dr., what have we got, a Republic or a monarchy?” he replied, “a Republic, if you can keep it.”

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.
-Tenth Amendment