An ‘out’ from Obamacare needed

February 15, 2011 • Editorial

A Republican effort to allow states to opt out of Obamacare has begun in the U.S. Senate, adding another front to the war waged against the nation’s sweeping new health care law. We prefer the finality of a Supreme Court ruling that the law is unconstitutional.

Governors of 28 states Wednesday urged President Barack Obama to seek immediate high court review of the health care law so they can know how to proceed. Until the Supreme Court rules, we are happy to have Obamacare challenged and mitigated in as many venues as possible.

The American people were opposed to the 2,700-page law [auth] when Congress rushed approval last year. Opposition hasn’t waned. More importantly, Obamacare is a massive over-reach that promises to do more harm than good, while bringing one-sixth of the U.S. economy under direct government control. Despite U.S. District Judge Roger Vinson’s ruling in January that the law is unconstitutional, the administration still plans to implement its many facets, including a mandate that everyone must either buy insurance or pay a tax to the government.

Sens. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., introduced their bill after the ruling and following a failed Senate attempt to force a repeal vote on the health care law.

The House previously approved repeal with three Democrats joining 242 Republicans. The opt-out bill would permit states to forego the individual mandate, as well as another mandate that businesses provide government-approved health insurance, a mandate forcing expansion of Medicaid programs and mandates defining qualified health plans and establishing government regulation of them.

Meanwhile, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., vowed “one way or the other” that the upcoming continuing resolution to fund the government through fiscal 2011 will deny funding to Obamacare.

Two types of funding for the law could be denied: direction appropriations and discretionary spending not specified in the legislation. “Make no mistake,” said a spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, “House Republicans are committed to repealing Obamacare and — if the Senate fails to act on repeal — we will use every means at our disposal to stop this jobdestroying law.”

Ultimately, the constitutionality of the individual mandate and, perhaps, the rest of the law probably will be determined by the Supreme Court. Allowed to stand, government authority would be expanded from the limited, enumerated powers envisioned by the founders to virtually unlimited powers that seriously infringe on individual rights.

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