Government Bytes


State Ballot Measures Challenge ObamaCare

by John Stephenson / /

As Americans learn more about ObamaCare, the more they realize they don't want it.

My colleague Jordan Forbes has been blogging on a regular basis (most recently here) about the ever-growing costs and problems with ObamaCare, especially the mandate for all Americans to have health insurance. The impact of ObamaCare on the states will be significant as Medicaid enrollments increase and the federal government expands its power into areas traditionally reserved for the states, as documented by this Heritage Foundation study.

But, as the study points out, the states don't have to take ObamaCare lying down. In fact, several states are already looking for ways to mitigate the harmful impact of ObamaCare through passing memorials asking Congress to make changes and using their policymaking and regulatory authority to shape how the law is implemented. Some states are even taking the federal government to court to challenge the individual mandate and others are asking the voters to render judgment on ObamaCare

In less than two weeks, residents of Arizona, Colorado, and Oklahoma will vote on ballot measures that would protect one's right to choose a health plan by prohibiting the government from requiring anyone to join a health plan or participate in a healthcare system. These measures follow on the stunning success of Missouri's Proposition C, the Health Care Freedom Act, which passed with the support of more than 70% of the one million votes cast.

Since the passage of ObamaCare, we have seen seniors lose Medicare Advantage, studies that show the cost of health care will increase, and employers like McDonald's request a waiver from federal requirements because they were at risk of dropping their coverage. Given all of these problems, is it little wonder that Americans do not wish for the states to be agents of this change?

As I said when Missouri passed Proposition C, "As more Americans learn that the federal health care takeover will boost government spending by $2.6 trillion over the next decade, raise taxes, create new penalties, and interfere with the doctor-patient relationship, the likelier they will be to take the same stance Missouri voters did [on August 4, 2010]. Whatever their success may be in repealing or overturning the new law, one thing is certain: this truly historic movement, aimed at changing policy, not just politics, is gathering a level of strength that federal officials can ill-afford to ignore."

I'm confident that I'll see more of this historic movement on Election Day.