Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. sold America down the river with his incomprehensible ruling that Obamacare is somehow constitutional when considered to be a tax. As such, it is the largest tax hike in U.S. history. This mother of all federal programs will jack up the unfunded liabilities of America’s welfare state by a heart-stopping $17 trillion, according to the Senate Budget Committee. Much of this burden will fall on the states where the programs are implemented. Some governors are vowing they will ignore President Obama’s national health care law.
In an exclusive interview with The Washington Times, Florida Gov. Rick Scott said, “I will not implement this law. Florida will not implement Obamacare.” He said there are three things states can do to resist this massive federal power grab. The first is opt out of the planned Medicaid expansion to those over the poverty line. “This program is already bankrupting state budgets because it’s growing three-and-a-half times faster than state revenue,” he explained. From the start, the expansion would cost the Sunshine State an extra $1.9 billion annually. That hunk of cash will be taken right out of the hide of taxpayers and will lead to cuts in other programs. “There’s only so much money,” the governor explained. “More funding for Medicaid robs from schools - especially K-12 education - and other priorities you care about.”
The second tactic for fighting back is for states to refuse to participate in Obamacare’s health-insurance exchanges, which are new bureaucracies created to manage and tailor what coverage individuals and businesses can purchase. “If there were any value added by these exchanges, the private sector would be doing it already,” Mr. Scott told us. The third action the Floridian said had to be taken was to do everything possible to make sure Mr. Obama’s and Chief Justice Roberts‘ Affordable Care Act is repealed. As former Republican presidential candidate and Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann wrote in The Washington Times last week, “Now the only way to save the country from Obamacare’s budget-busting government takeover of health care is to completely repeal it.” Speaker John A. Boehner has scheduled a vote to do just that in the House of Representatives on July 11, but nothing changes so long as the Senate is controlled by Democrats under Majority Leader Harry Reid.
Mr. Scott, who founded and ran a health care company that became America’s seventh-largest employer, has studied nationalized health systems across the world and observed that the same failed scenario plays out every time. “First, they tell you it’s going to do everything to take care of everybody for life, but the second thing that happens is they run out of money,” the governor says. When that occurs, “the government underpays health care providers so fewer people want to become doctors, and hospitals can’t buy the equipment and goods they need.” The result is lower quality and rationed care.
“Government involvement makes our system too expensive,” Mr. Scott states. “Name one product or service the government provides cheaper or more efficiently than the private sector. You can’t do it.” Smart health-care reform would empower Americans with more choice over their medical coverage, not less, by relying on more competition in the market rather than federal centralization. The first step is stopping Obamacare.
Brett M. Decker is editorial page editor of The Washington Times. He is coauthor of the new book “Bowing to Beijing” (Regnery, 2011).