The Corner

‘The Law of the Land’

My new Bloomberg View column:

For many supporters of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, continued resistance to the law isn’t just mistaken. It’s downright pathological.

They view it this way: Republicans were within their rights to oppose the law while Congress was debating it, but fighting it three years after it was enacted, and more than a year after theSupreme Court ruled it constitutional, is extreme and dangerous. Republicans are “sabotaging” and trying to “nullify” a democratically passed law. . . .

Most of what the law’s supporters call “sabotage” is perfectly legitimate political action. Obamacare’s architects envisioned a lot more cooperation from state governments than they’ve gotten so far. But the law allowed states to refrain from setting up insurance exchanges and from expanding Medicaid. States that exercise those options aren’t disobeying the law or even sabotaging it; they’re just making choices that the law’s supporters wish they would not. State governments can even (as some have) make it illegal for their officials to participate in Obamacare. That’s not “nullification”; it doesn’t require state officials to break any federal law.

Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.

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