The states cannot rely on Washington to correct the travesty that is Obamacare. After forty-seven votes to repeal or reform the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), Congress has not been able to even hold Health and Human Services (HHS) accountable for the website folly, including over $1 billion spent for federal exchange and data services contract awards.
From the opaque political proceedings, to passage by desperate arm-twisting and bribes, to the exceptions granted favored groups including members of Congress and staff, to the eighteen unilateral, politically expedient White House revisions, to the un-competitively contracted website disaster, the formation and implementation of PPACA has done grave injury to the political process.
Americans are now watching the entire Act collapse under the weight of its own illegitimacy. Obamacare has, thus far, served to discourage Americans from working, vastly expanded the Medicaid entitlement, caused the cancelation of millions of private insurance plans, pledged tax funds to underwrite insurance’s losses, increased premium costs by an average of 41 percent, and distanced doctors from patients.
Jonathan Turley, noted constitutional scholar who generally supports President Obama’s policies has said,
I think many people will come to loathe that they remained silent during this period. . . . I think that many people will look back at this period in history and see nothing but confusion as to why people remained so silent when the president asserted these types of unilateral actions. You have a president who is claiming the right to basically rewrite or ignore or negate federal laws. That is a dangerous thing.
Of course, when Americans think of federal law, this spectacle of harried negotiation and frantic deal-making that produced a 2,700 page reconciliation product called the PPACA “law” was as repugnant as Washington sausage-making gets. Key Senators and Congress-members writing in a pending federal appellate amicus brief called the law “disjointed, confusing, and even self-contradictory,” describing it as a “preliminary draft” that was pushed to preempt the filibuster after the election of Republican Senator Scott Brown.
The American public is well aware that Congress generally did not read the PPACA, nor did members deliberate the terms in reconciliation. Now that we are all “finding out what is in it,” sixty-four percent of Americans polled said that the ACA would not have passed “if we knew then what we know today.”
States seeking a way to defend the constitutional order have signed on to lawsuits challenging the legal foundations upon which Obamacare is rationalized. So far, legal challenges have failed.
There is another way that states may organize to pull healthcare back from Washington: the Healthcare Compact. Eight states have already agreed to join in a compact designed to restore control of medical services and systems to the states. An additional ten states are now actively considering adopting the Compact.
Recently, Congressman James Lankford introduced H.J. Res. 110 to authorize “member states … to implement their own health care systems without interference from federal bureaucrats.”
Interstate compacts between states have been in place since before the nation was formed. They have been used over two hundred times to address regional concerns, settle disputes, and defend state sovereignty. For example, compacts have been utilized to organize emergency management, resolve transportation issues, and establish regulatory consistency. Currently, many states are now participating in twenty-five or more compacts.