Obamacare and the Rape of Federalism

With the failure of Paul Ryan’s Obamacare makeover, talk has once again turned to the possible “death spiral” the ACA is entering.

Not so fast, says USA Today, arguing that while some states such as Arizona and Tennessee are suffering mightily under the law, with premiums going through the roof and options for health plans vanishing, New York is doing fine with 17 insurance companies offering plans through the exchanges and about 3.6 million people getting coverage through the system.

(Fun fact: while New York’s population is only 6% of the entire US, they have 30% of all Obamacare enrollees, 2.4 million of which are being subsidized through Medicaid. And by “Medicaid” I mean “your tax dollars.”)

USA Today goes on to tell us it’s not just New York — Wisconsin, Idaho, Massachusetts, Arkansas, California and New Mexico are also doing just fine under the Obamacare law. This was before Anthem Blue Cross, Blue Shield announced it is pulling out of Obamacare, a move which will leave even more areas without a single Obamacare insurer, but that actually doesn’t matter to the larger point.

So according to USA Today all is well because in seven states, it’s working out.

Yet in at least six states mentioned in the same article (and more to come,) premiums have sky-rocketed and many areas are down to a single insurer offering plans.

In other words, people are getting hurt. People in Arizona, Tennessee, North Carolina and Oklahoma, for example, are watching the healthcare systems in their states crash and burn.

Yet USA Today seems to think this is just swell. Because even while some states and the citizens who live there are getting crushed, the overall system seems like it will keep on chugging along in defiance of Republican predictions, and that’s what’s important, Obamacare uber alles.

America is a federal republic. The states are meant to be the main drivers of policy allowing the regional and cultural differences in political philosophy among the citizens of the states to be expressed with policy tailored by the local government.

Obamacare attacks federalism with it’s “one size fits all” approach to health policy. A state wants to try something different that might work better for it’s people? Too bad.

Worse, Obamacare is a complete perversion of federalism because not only is it demanding that every state follow it’s mandates (with a strange carve out for Rhode Island that is really worth looking at as a way forward) it appears not to care when those national rules harm certain states and benefit others.

This is the real affront. Not only are Arizona, Oklahoma, Tennessee, North Carolina being harmed by this law, they’re not allowed to do anything about it. Not only are they being prevented from doing anything about it, the entirety of the Democrat establishment and their allies in the media simply don’t care. This is collateral damage. The well-being of fellow citizens is being sacrificed on the altar of the ACA.

The citizens of those states,  who could easily replace a Governor and state legislature if the locals had wrought such a disaster, can only appeal to a distant federal government where representatives not accountable to them decide their fates.

This is the rape of federalism.  Not only are these states not being allowed to craft their own health policies as they would if we actually followed the Constitution, they are being actively prevented from doing anything about the harm which has befallen them.

And the message to those citizens from USA Today and the Democrats is clear: go to hell. 

About the Author

Matthew Howe
Matthew Howe
College liberal turned conservative once he started paying taxes, Matthew has been active in the gun-rights and conservative movement for years. The author of the thriller Waypoint, (available on Amazon) he's proud to live in the one county in downstate New York which went for Trump by 17 points.

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