For those concerned with what will become of Obama’s federal takeover of healthcare after the election, this is a must read.
Michael Cannon from the Cato Institute, one of America’s leading experts on healthcare in the US from a free market perspective, just wrote a great article explaining how it is up to the states to stop the federal takeover of healthcare.
He not only explained the importance of doing this, but the legal ways in which it can be done.
An important line from his article, and one of the biggest reasons many of us fought so hard to pass a Healthcare Freedom Amendment in Ohio:
“operating an Obamacare exchange would be illegal in 14 states. Alabama, Arizona, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Montana, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Utah, and Virginia have enacted either statutes or constitutional amendments (or both) forbidding state employees to participate in an essential exchange function: implementing Obamacare’s individual and employer mandates.”
You see – by passing the Ohio Healthcare Freedom Amendment in Nov 2011, mandates on healthcare as pushed down from the state level are illegal in Ohio. Meaning – if Ohio chose to implement the state based healthcare exchange outlined in the federal healthcare bill, it would be violating the Ohio Constitution.
Cannon explains why this matters. By not starting a state exchange:
“defaulting to a federal exchange exempts a state’s employers from the employer mandate — a tax of $2,000 per worker per year (the tax applies to companies with more than 50 employees, but for such companies that tax applies after the 30th employee, not the 50th). If all states did so, that would also exempt 18 million Americans from the individual mandate’s tax of $2,085 per family of four. Avoiding those taxes improves a state’s prospects for job creation, and protects the conscience rights of employers and individuals whom the Obama administration is forcing to purchase contraceptives coverage.”
Ohio and so many states have incredible legal protection from multiple components of the federal healthcare bill.
And, now more than ever, it’s important to remember how this Amendment to Ohio’s Constitution came into existence. How was the Ohio Healthcare Freedom Amendment made the law of the land?
Did some benevolent dictator will it into existence? No.
Did DC Congressmen turn over a new leaf, and decide to start protecting us from tyranny? No.
Did some noble politician believe so much in this cause, that he fought for it with every breath and dollar he could muster? No.
Was it because some political party took on the fight and led the citizens to victory? No.
It was a free association of individuals that brought this amendment to fruition, amazing volunteers and sacrificial donors.
Many know this story. Some do not. The Ohio Healthcare Freedom Amendment came to fruition because a group of 7 individuals came together in a restaurant one evening in Cincinnati, and decided that a citizen’s initiative amending Ohio’s Constitution to prohibit healthcare mandates was a viable route for protecting Ohio from the federal tyranny of the proposed healthcare law.
This little band of brothers launched a citizen’s initiative with no money, very little experience and just a fledgling organization to accomplish the goal. To gather the almost 550K voter’s signatures to place this issue on the ballot, amazing people stepped up across Ohio completing one of the biggest volunteer signature gathering efforts in American history.
And when this issue was placed before the voters in November of 2011 – Ohioans passed the amendment with 66% of the vote, enshrining healthcare freedom in Ohio forever.
It is from the states and from the people that tyranny will be repelled. We have done it once before, and we can do it again. Free individuals protecting their rights isn’t a dream. This is not a theoretical discussion. It is a reality for so many of us who worked on the Ohio Healthcare Freedom Amendment.
This is the path forward. This is the key to saving the Republic – saving each state one at a time, and using them to protect ourselves from Federal tyranny. Federalism lights the way to freedom.
In the post-election 2012 Obama era: Individual Rights 1, Obama and the Collectivists 0
Governor John Kasich will be making a statement on this issue Friday, Nov 16th, where he is expected to confirm – Ohio will not be implementing a state based exchange.
Cannon’s Article: Obamacare Is Still Vulnerable – Now is not the time to go wobbly originally appeared in National Review Nov 9, 2012