|"I hate federalism!"|
In order to bypass the internal (infernal?) checks and balances within the federal compact between the states and the federal government, to exercise greater power over the states, leaders in Washington have resorted to withholding federal dollars (in effect, state tax dollars collected through the IRS). As states look for more innovate means for their citizens to hold onto their own money as well as diminish the role of the statehouse in the citizen' own house, the federal government will itself losing more money.
Following President Obama's reelection, followed by incremental increases in the House and the Senate, the progressive impulse to spend, expend, and finally expand state power remains as heated as ever. Along with the President, another progressive Democrat who faced a tough reelection, Congressman Henry Waxman, has also returned to office, yet clinching his seat by the lowest victory margin of his career.
From the outset of Obama's first term, Congressman Henry Waxman championed the ObamaCare power grab. Since the legislation is covered with his fingerprints (or red hands), the individual health insurance mandate/tax should be called Obama-WaxmanCare. The West LA Congressman championed this law before, during, and after its passage, yet this past summer he had trouble explaining its basic provisions in a CNN interview. Despite the frustrations of single-payer advocates, Waxman advocated legislation which would impose more regulations and require every person in this country to get health insurance or pay a fine.
Twenty-two states sued the federal government to enjoin enforcement of the law, claiming that the legislation so stretched the elastic clause (necessary and proper). The legal challenges also charged that Obamacare vacated the commerce clause of its original intent by authorizing the federal government to compel individuals to enter into commerce. Critics across the spectrum asked: "If Congress can force me to purchase health insurance, what can't they force me to buy?" Chief Justice John Roberts upheld the individual mandate, but not based on the commerce clause. Using unexpectedly twisted judicial reasoning, the Roberts Court argued that Congress' power to tax authorized the federal government to require every American to have access to affordable health insurance.
The United States does need health care reform. Yet following the passage of Obamacare, health insurance premiums have increased while access has decreased. ObamaCare failed to fight off lawsuit abuse, one of the prime instigators for rising health insurance rates along with the spiraling costs of health care. A simpler reform would have permitted individuals to purchase health insurance across state lines. Health Savings Accounts would encourage people to invest in their own health care over time and grant them a tax credit for any money invested in the fund. Waxman has rebuffed selling health insurance across state lines, and he voted against tax credits for health savings accounts.
One critical feature of Obama-WaxmanCare, the statewide health exchanges, would ensure that enough money was coming into the system to insure anyone who cannot afford health insurance. The IRS reported that their interpretation of the would ignore that heads of households have access to employer funded health insurance, yet most businesses do not cover the rest of the family. Because of the head income earner's salary, they would be priced out of receive the federal subsidy for health insurance.
30 states have opposed implementing Obama-WaxmanCare. Governor Tim Scott of Florida shut down any steps for Obamacare exchanges. So has Governor Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, the first Republican governor to suggest that contraception should be purchased over the counter, beyond the purview of the federal government. Rick Perry and the rest of the expanded GOP governor's conference have taken federalism to the limit, pushing back against Washington power-grabbing. Twenty-nine other states have also told off "Nanny State" Mother Washington that they refuse to implement health exchanges. Their staunch resistance is shooting more holes in this untimely, ill-conceived, and ill-advised legislation.
Chris Christie, Republican Governor of New Jersey, candidly admitted to fellow New Jerseyan Jon Stewart on "The Daily Show": "If the federal government does not know how to run this thing, then why should I waste my state's money to try and put this thing together?" He runs a two-to-one Democratic state with a sometime-sympathetic legislature, at least when it comes to reining in the costs of the public sector union pensions and benefits. His courage to face off against the Obama Administrations officious expansion of power deserves as much regard as his genuine respect for the President's assistance after Superstorm Sandy.
While disquieted independents, conservatives, Republicans, and many Democrats feared the worst following the Supreme Court's ruling to uphold Obama-WaxmanCare, the several states have severed all support for this law, which will further cripple the financial backing anticipated by the law's enthusiasts, including Congressman Waxman. Now the CEO of Dominic's Pizza and Papa John's are also filing lawsuits against the federal government for advancing such a monstrosity upon the states.
Thirty governors rejected the Obama-WaxmanCare health exchanges. Private business leaders are still challenging the law, and already Waxman has expressed concern that the federal government will delay enforcing the law. Perhaps Congressman Waxman would have been better off retiring instead of witnessing his "signature" legislation" stiffen Republican opposition and frustrate the progressive agenda.