Ohio and ObamaCare

Last November, Ohio had split on two important issues on the ballot.  Most of the chatter was Issue 2 which would have allowed a law mimicking Wisconsin’s public sector union restrictions although it included police and fire unions.  It failed 38-62.  Also on the ballot was Issue 3, a health care “independence” measure which was a pre-emptive strike against ObamaCare.  It passed 66-34.

The 1851 Center for Constitutional Law is an Ohio-based non-profit which has written a piece here and recently re-iterated some of its major points and action steps given last week’s stunning Jon Roberts ruling, which can be found at the Supreme Court website.  The pull quote for me was in the dissent:

As for the constitutional power to tax and spend for the general welfare: The Court has long since expanded that beyond (what Madison thought it meant) taxing and spending for those aspects of the general welfare that the Federal Government’s enumerated powers, see United States v. Butler, 297 U. S. 1, 65–66 (1936).  Thus, we now have sizable federal Departments devoted to subjects not mentioned among Congress’ enumerated powers, and only marginally related to commerce: the Department of Education, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

From the recent 1851 Center e-mail, there are three things that need to happen at this moment.

  1. Stop Ohio from implementing state-based exchanges.  Kasich seems to be leaning this direction although there is considerable pressure from the left and from progressive-thinking Republicans in the Ohio Legislature to take the money to start these exchanges.  We need to find who our State Representatives and Senators are and make sure they oppose any movement supporting Obamacare, and keep Governor Kasich true to his conservative instincts.
  2. Stop Ohio from expanding Medicaid.  In 2011, Ohio joined other states in arguing against the Medicaid mandate and that decision went in our favor 7-2.  So like Cleveland fans who expect disappointment from their sports teams, Tea Party supporters have grown to expect Republicans to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.  We must explain to DeWine and Kasich that they have won and not to touch Medicaid until this storm blows over.
  3. Continue to mount a rights-based challenge.  This means that the Supreme Court decision mostly regards Congressional authority to impose such a mandate.   It has not decided on privacy rights or on freedom to associate issues, and these will surely come up as time goes on.

I hope that the Roberts decision was an aberration.  In his moderation, he seems to stretch to meet the liberals half-way.  But isn’t that the way it always is – conservatives reaching over to the left.  Which of the four liberal justices have ever reached over to the right?  It is a promising sign that Ginsberg trashed Roberts in her concurrence as much as he was trashed in the dissent.  And if conservatives weren’t galvanized enough for this 2012 election, I hope this will let us know that our battle is ongoing and never-ending.

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