Fighting ObamaCare: A 4-Pronged Strategy for Congress & the States

Hard-to-Find List below of 111 companies granted waivers by HHS  (so far).

By Grace-Marie Turner

Texas Insider Report: Washington, D.C. – The battle against ObamaCare is taking on four fronts: political, legislative, legal & regulatory. Legislators returned to Capitol Hill last week to start making plans for the next Congress, and the 80-plus freshmen have the fight against ObamaCare at the top of their lists.  

Likewise, most of the 29 Republican governors meeting last week in San Diego are making plans to resist what many see as a federal take-over of their health sectors. With nearly 700 new Republican state legislators elected Nov. 2, these governors will have the wind at their backs.  

For example, The New York Times reports Wisconsin Gov.-elect Scott Walker said he wants the state to freeze all efforts to put the law into effect until he takes office in January. He plans to join the Florida lawsuit against the health overhaul law and says he will do as little as possible to comply, but just enough to keep federal officials out.

As many as seven or eight more states could join the 20 in the suit.

Assuming the lawsuit will take time, the next step will be “looking at not only slowing down [the federal law but] offering a viable alternative to what the current administration has been aggressively doing,” he says.

(Prediction: If states have not made sufficient “progress” in getting exchanges set up by January of 2013, the feds will move in.)

Gov. Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota has prohibited state officials from requesting any federal funds or taking any actions to implement the law without clearing it with him first.

Expect states to demand more authority to escape federal mandates and instead receive block grants to administer Medicaid and other programs, as Rhode Island already is successfully doing.

A four-prong strategy:

Since neither President Obama, nor soon-to-be Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, seem to get the message from the electorate about how much they despise the law and how it was passed, Congress and governors will be spending the next two years helping them to understand and painting a different vision of market-based, consumer-friendly reform.

The battle against ObamaCare is taking on four fronts: political, legislative, legal, and regulatory.

  • The political front will involve continuing educational efforts to help the American people understand more about the law and its impact and to offer a positive, step-by-step agenda for reform. Rep. Tom Price, newly elected as the chairman of the Republican Policy Committee, will take the lead. There will be ample opportunities in the next two years to get the word out through hearings, legislative initiatives, etc.
  • Legislative actions will begin with a full repeal vote on the House floor in January and then continue with targeted votes to defund, delay, dismantle, and direct oversight and investigation and, each time, to offer positive solutions.
  • Legal challenges will likely grow. A Wall Street Journal editorial on Thursday encouraged newly elected governors and attorneys general to join the Florida suit, saying, “The voters showed their loathing for the law on November 2, and a large, united legal front of states would increase the chances that the courts find it unconstitutional.”
  • Regulatory roadblocks: While the wheels of the bureaucracy are rapidly churning out regulations to implement the health overhaul law, legislators have a responsibility to protect the American people and taxpayers to make sure that these regulations and the implementation processes are doing no harm. Expect Congress to take a number of actions through oversight, hearings, and control of federal purse strings. We’re happy to share ideas with those interested.

Ryan to the rescue:

And kudos, once again, to our fearless leader of visionary public policy, Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, soon to be the chairman of the House Budget Committee.

He and former Congressional Budget Office Director Alice Rivlin this week offered a plan to modernize Medicare and Medicaid, giving people more choices and getting us off the trajectory to fiscal calamity.

Here is a link to Ryan’s plan and to a commentary on National Review explaining why it is so important.

111 Waivers galore (so far) allow escape from early insurance mandates:

Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon has joined forces with Massachusetts Republican Scott Brown to introduce a bill that would give states early waivers from the health law. It’s important because one of the major things it purports to do is allow them to escape the dreaded individual mandate.

But the Politico Pulse quotes a Republican Senate aide as saying “most Rs see these waivers as a joke … The waivers don’t address the structural flaws with PPACA … But the concept of a real waiver (where states could truly innovate to reduce spending and lower health care costs) might have some legs.”

Speaking of waivers, the 111 waivers granted (so far) by HHS to companies to allow them to escape some of the early insurance mandates is causing quite a commotion.

Here’s a link to the very-hard-to-find list on the government’s website.

The Cornhusker Kickback, Louisiana Purchase, and all of the other special deals to buy senators’ votes that made people so mad when the law was passed? Now bureaucrats are picking political favorites!

Dreaded individual mandate:

The federal mandate that everyone must purchase health insurance or face penalties is the Achilles’ Heel of the overhaul law. Fewer than one in five Americans support it, yet everyone will be subject to it.

And Massachusetts is doing us a favor by telling us where this is headed:

The Commonwealth’s version of a health exchange “has turned into a legal pit bull by aggressively going after a growing number of Bay Staters who say they can’t afford mandated insurance — or the penalties imposed for not having it,” according to the Boston Herald.

“The Commonwealth Health Insurance Connector Authority is cracking down on more than 3,000 residents who are fighting state fines, and has even hired a private law firm to force the health insurance scofflaws to pay penalties of up to $2,000 a year,” it reports.

The job of the next Congress will be to lift regulatory burdens, reduce taxes, and provide new opportunities and incentives for people to work, save, and invest.

It can’t begin a day too soon.

Ms. Turner is president of the Galen Institute.

9 comments

  1. CWJ, I’m not sure what you mean. I have been in pursuit of YHVH, Adonai, Elohim, Elyon, Avinu, El and Yehosua for over 40 years but my heart hasn’t always been one described in Rom. 12:1,2.

    “Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.”

    Thanks for the admonition. I’m in two Bible studies right now. I’m studying the Gospel of Mark and Micah.

  2. Waivers… So much for equality.

    Freshmen…we are watching you. We sent you there to do a job for us…

    1) Repeal Obama Care
    2) Cut spending across the board
    3) Reduce Government i.e the EPA, Dept of Interior
    4) Abolish the Fed, the Dept of Education, the BLM
    5) Become energy independent drill NOW, expand coal, and natural gas use
    6) Abolish the income tax and go to a Fair tax
    7) Seal the Mexican border or make Mexico the 51st state and take them over
    8) Quit building nations and use our military to back our economy
    9) Prosecute the traitors in the DoJ and White House
    10) Investigate the shenanigans of the House and Senate
    11) Abolish the 9th Circuit Appeals court and fire ALL activist Judges

  3. STOP WAISTING YOUR TIME ON BALL GAMES, JUDGE JUDY, HOLLYWOOD RUBBISH, EAR ITCHING 501C3 GOVERNMENT LEGIONS, AND FACEBOOK, READ A REAL BOOK, A FEW, AND A FEW MORE, WAKE UP, GET AWARE OF ETERNAL CIRCUMSTANCES AND IGNORE PERSONAL ONES, WHERE ARE THE MEN, THE REAL MEN AND WOMEN, WHO ARDENTLY CRIED GIVE ME LIBERTY OR GIVE ME DEATH. SHEEP ARE LED TO THE SLAUGHTER! IT IS OUR DUTY TO THROW OFF SUCH GOVERNMENT. IT’S NOT JUST OBAMACARE, OR THE FEDERAL RESERVE BANKING CARTELS, ITS NOT JUST THE TSA AND THE MAFIATIC POLICE, IT’S NOT JUST THE LIBERALS AND NEO CONSERVATIVES, IT’S THE WHOLE DAMNED SYSTEM. AS FOR ME AND MY FAMILY, WE WILL SERVE YHWH OF HOSTS, AND MESSIAH, THE SOVERIGN OF SOVERIGNS. HE REQUIRES MERCY NOT SACRIFICE. GET A CLUE YOU BLIND GUIDES. SUBMIT TO THE MIGHTY ONES YOU VOTE ON AND BRING BEFORE HIS FACE, OR CAST OFF BABYLON AND BE FREE!

  4. Since no one, not any news channel, especially the local ones, will talk about the mandate and how much each of us will be charged for healthcare we may or may not want, many people believe that it is FREE healthcare. That’s why it was not repealed in CO in November. If the opponents to it would have talked about the mandate, healthcare would have been repealed in CO. WHY DOES NO ONE EVER TALK ABOUT IT???

  5. I agree with you Christian–great post! Rome was not built in a day and until we get the numbers in Congress or favor from somewhere else (courts, etc.) to completely repeal this mess, we should attack it every way we can. Not to say we shouldn’t offer a bill every 30 days to repeal it and let the Democrats and RINOs put their name in the yes or no column, so we will know for the next election–you know BHO will veto anything along these lines; we need a veto proof majority or a new president in 2012 or both!!

  6. The fight to defend this monster will finish off all but a few of the Demoncraps in the upcoming elections, including Obammunist.

  7. I hope that my Blue Cross Blue Shield health care insurance policy that just went up because of ObamaCare with go down again. I’ve already talked with my insurance people about that. I asked them that if/when ObamaCare is repealed would they decrease my policy premium? Or if it is nullified in Texas would they decrease my premium?

    When the Republicans trot out their version of health care reform, they better include: tort reform, insurance competition across state lines, it’s not mandatory for everyone to have it, no waivers given to any business or individuals and nobody is subsidized by the government for their healthcare.

    I like this four pronged attack. They all are ominous to the Demoncrats that proposed this monstrosity.

    I hope other states will join the 20 states that are suing the Federal Government in a Florida court regarding the constitutionality of ObamaCare.

    To all you freshmen U.S. congressmen reading this, REPEAL OBAMACARE!!!

    To all you freshmen Texas congressmen reading this, NULLIFY OBAMACARE!!!

  8. NO DAMN WAIVERS
    JUST REPEL the CURSED EVIL THING.
    We DO NOT have to DO anything ELSE UNTIL this DAMNABLE albatross is removed from the necks of AMERICAN TAXPAYERS and every individual and agency created to run it are removed permanently.

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