Virginia vs. Obamacare

Of course you’ve heard the news by now.  House of Representatives narrowly pass Obamacare.  “Pro-life” Democrats abandon principles for the sake of party.  Americans will soon be forced to buy health insurance, etc.  Needless to say, I not pleased by this vast increase in federal government power.  Unfortunately, with each passing administration we surrender more and more of our rights and liberty to the government.  When will it all end?  How much more power do they need?  Will we suddenly wake up one day, stripped of all our liberty and personal responsibility, and wonder how we got in such a mess?  How much more unconstitutional abuse can we endure?

Although this latest affront known as Obamacare worries me greatly, it makes me very glad that I live here in the state of Virginia.  You see, unlike some parts of the country, our legislators in Richmond don’t simply throw up their hands and surrender to the overreaching authority of Washington.  This year, Senators Steve Martin, Fred Quayle, and Jill Vogel, as well as Delegate Bob Marshall have all introduced similar or identical bills in the General Assembly, which exempt Virginians from Obamacare.  As a result of their efforts, Virginians are protected from this federal mandate.  It is a modern day example of nullification; the theory that states can ignore or overturn any federal law that they believe violates the constitution.  In addition, our Attorney General, Ken Cuccinelli is preparing to sue the feds over this issue.  Even though other states are planning similar actions, Virginia is taking the lead for federalism and the 10th Amendment.  I do feel sorry for those citizens who live in states whose legislators are either too liberal or too cowardly to take a stand against this “reform”.

Here is a clip from March 17, 2010 on Fox News.

Ultimately, it is very likely that this issue will reach the Supreme Court.  Will the court find Obamacare constitutional?  And if so, will nullification efforts like Virginia’s be upheld?

I encourage you to head over to Crystal Clear Conservative who has a couple of good clips from Attorney General Cuccinelli on the matter, as well as Bearing Drift who have an important interview with Representative Wittman and AG Cuccinelli.

7 Replies to “Virginia vs. Obamacare”

  1. I don’t understand the intrinsic bad of the Individual Mandate. Essentially, I view it as a market-based reform package designed to lower the collective price tag. By forcing everyone to buy into SOME form of Health Insurance, and then extending massive tax-relief to those who cannot readily afford it, the entire net cost goes down due to the larger nature of the Insurance plans. It seems to me that the Individual Mandate + Tax Relief is an action plan that seeks to unite Reform and Market-Based Solutions.

    Now, the only thing I have a problem with is the governmental regulation of the Individual mandate. That is to say, what does and doesn’t classify as approved-Insurance.

  2. I feel sorry for those individuals in Virginia who won’t be included in the bill’s Medicaid expansion (but who would have been included elsewhere). Or those families who’s 22-25 year old sons and daughters have been laid off or can’t find a job (there’s a lot…) and won’t be able to be included under their parents’ plans. And those unlucky citizens of the Commonwealth who lose their job, lose their insurance, and then are denied coverage for their preexisting conditions. Good thing their legislators are looking out for their interests…

  3. And I’d like to read the briefs arguing the law’s unconstitutionality. In a country where we have Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security, Interstate Highways, and a Federal Income Tax, I have a hard time believing this isn’t squarely under some constitutional provision.

  4. I object on the grounds that it usurps individual autonomy. If the argument is that I should have to do it to make it cheaper for everyone else, I’m unconvinced. I am always suspicious when someone tries to compel me to do something, particularly when the goal is not my good, but that of everyone else. I only wish Delegate Marshall were more articulate on the matter, because I think he’s saying something very important in a profoundly unclear way.

    Calling this any kind of a market-based solution is patently false. The functioning of a market is predicated upon both parties having the freedom to exit if the terms of that market don’t measure up to their own willingness to make the necessary sacrifices. In this case we’re all being forced to buy something whether we want to or not – that isn’t a market, it’s a racket.

    –M

  5. M: It’s hard to disagree with you — but that’s a criticism of near universal applicability. how about transportation? are highways a racket? we’re forced to pay taxes to construct highways — i’m pretty sure some of my federal income taxes go to pay for federal highways expansions in states i don’t live or drive in — and there’s no opt out for me. and i’m forced to subsidize the prosecution of military conflicts abroad that I don’t agree with, and that I am persuaded do not a jot for my safety at home. and yet I have no problem paying taxes for highways and defense — because I’d much rather live in a country that has both. the choice i’ve made is to live in the United States of America.

    And I’m also happy to live in a country that attempts to provide health care for all of its citizens.

  6. Z – Maybe so. The military, however, is something we all pay for because of the agreement to collective security in the constitution. And it’s incredibly expensive now, but it past centuries a great deal of the expense was borne by the citizens indirectly though participation in the militia system, as part of the citizen’s duty to defend the Constitution. I’m not sure I see how that applies to a centrally-imposed command to purchase a private service, i.e., health care.

    On highways, and by corollary, let me add railroads, you may have a stronger point. But originally, rail and highway links were privately funded and maintained, and pretty successfully, as well. The first interstate highway systems (the Lincoln and Dixie Highways) were promoted and largely funded by Carl Fisher, a private entrepreneur – and they form the basis of the modern Eisenhower Interstate Highway System. Moreover, road funding is largely maintained at state and local expense, producing far more responsiveness to citizens’ willingness to pay. But still, I see no reason why roads could not be privately maintained and funded, and the fact that they are not is not proof that they cannot be.

    In the end, I disagree with the implication that government coercion is just a matter of degree. Being forced to purchase a service or commodity, however well-intentioned, is a misuse of federal power, and would probably be a misuse of government power at any level. The idea that it has to be done this way is unconvincing, and the argument that “the market had its chance” is spurious. What’s the statute of limitations on personal freedom?

    I don’t deny that many people lack health coverage in this country and that that is a problem. But I deny that action from the center, effectively coercing all citizens into a “You Get What I Pay For” system is wrong. If you want to provide health insurance to someone, nobody’s stopping you – do it, by all means. I contribute to charities that provide extensive helath coverage and relief services to people in need. But there’s a distinct and very real difference between a thing being given freely, and that thing being taken away and given to someone else. One is free, the other is not.

    –M

  7. I would also point out that the Interstate Highway System though built in the interest of national defense, at least has some precedent in Art. 1, Sec. 8, para7: “to establish post offices and post roads”.

    How one you can say that mandatory purchase of anything is “regulating commerce” is sheer fantasy. The only thing that regulates is human behavior.

    But of course thats the idea isn’t it? Federal control of our personal lives.

    Rather ironic that the outcome is only going to fatten the bottom line of the very same insurance companies that liberals are so disdainful of.

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