obamacare – states rights battle?

Could the push to pass obamacare turn into a states’ rights battle? Quite possibly, according to this piece. Thirty five states (36 total – Virginia has already passed legislation) are in the process of enacting legislation to block one of the major components of obamacare – forced participation in a government health insurance program. (details here) As you can see from the graphic, this is a huge swath of the US.

statesWhile the majority of states are only seeking to block one component of obamacare, it sets up an interesting conundrum for the the administration. It’s likely that this provision will have to be shelved (no doubt until some later date) in order for the massive government takeover to pass without prolonged court battles.

But not all the actions being considered apply simply to federal law. Some of the constitutional provisions would also prohibit future state lawmakers from enacting any sorts of health insurance mandates or enacting any sort of single-payer system. Some measures don’t even refer to the federal government, Cauchi said.

But most are clearly aimed at potential mandates that individuals carry health insurance, he said. That could set the stage for legal wrangling between states and feds if a health care package with a mandate becomes law.

Through liberal and manipulative interpretation of the Commerce Clause, congress and past presidents have run roughshod over the 10th Amendment. The Constitution set very specific powers for the federal government and left the remaining responsibilities to the states and the people. There have been other recent examples of states trying to reclaim their governing rights. If nothing else, the states’ pushback against obamacare might present an opportunity to re-examine the 10th Amendment.

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