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NRO’s health-care blog.

States React to Judge Vinson’s Obamacare Ruling



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Florida has led 25 other states to an overwhelming judicial victory against Obamacare in federal court, but, unsurprisingly, some states are ignoring Judge Roger Vinson’s decision that Obamacare — in its entirety — violates the U.S. Constitution.

California, for example, where Democrats control every executive office and both legislative chambers, has pledged to be the ”lead car” in the race to sacrifice its residents’ health-care choices to federal control. Unfortunately, the “lead car” will spin out of control and crash whether Obamacare is defeated judicially or legislatively. Former governor Schwarzenegger foolishly signed a law last year that launched an Obamacare-compliant Health Benefits Exchange, but neglected to include a “self-destruct” clause in case Obamacare ceases to exist.

More mysterious is the response of some states that oppose Obamacare and so should be leveraging Judge Vinson’s decision with all the power they have. Georgia, for example, is one of the 25 states that joined Florida’s successful lawsuit. It’s also a state where Republicans hold the governorship and majorities in both legislative chambers. Gov. Nathan Deal claims to oppose Obamacare, yet his response to Judge Vinson’s ruling (as reported by the New York Times) was curiously weak: “We’ll be required to move forward until such time relief is granted or an appellate decision is finalized.”

Required by whom? Does Governor Deal think that Kathleen Sebelius, U.S. Secretary of Health & Human Services, has some kind of power to fine or imprison him if he refuses to obey her? On the contrary, Secretary Sebelius’s ability to inflict Obamacare on the country will be severely hampered if states obey the Constitution and decline to collaborate with her bureaucrats (as I have described previously here and here).

The correct response to the momentum created by Judge Vinson’s ruling is exemplified by Florida governor Rick Scott, who takes his state’s commitment to defeating Obamacare as seriously as his attorney general, Pam Bondi, does. Not only has he decided not to waste “time and money” implementing Obamacare, but his insurance commissioner has actually returned Secretary Sebelius’s $1 million grant to start the spadework on a Health Benefits Exchange!

Governor Deal, and other governors who are inexplicably wavering in the face of the now mortally wounded federal law, need to rejoin the battle that their attorneys general are successfully waging.



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