N.M. Should Join Suits Against ObamaCare

Stethoscope on American Flag


Our next governor has a huge plate of problems to deal with on Day One of her administration starting next month, and I would have preferred to lessen her decision load, but unfortunately, I’m afraid I’m going to pile on one more — ObamaCare.

Twenty states have joined in an amended federal lawsuit against the Reid/Pelosi/Obama nationalized health care plan.

Granted, my doctor is kind of a career curmudgeon, so it didn’t surprise me a bit last week when I was in his office for a routine checkup, he started in on the legislation.

He’s not a partisan politics kind of guy. He hates all politicians. He originally came to New Mexico recruited as the chief medical officer at a major hospital in Albuquerque. He quit after several years and opened his own single general practice. I asked him why he quit the major hospital, and he simply replied, “I got tired of the bureaucratic mess.” He thinks ObamaCare will make things even messier. And so do I.

Quite simply, ObamaCare is a national disgrace and its legislation clearly exceeds constitutional authority. It is patently unconstitutional for the federal government to break the backs of New Mexicans by trampling the Constitution, and then threaten to use IRS agents to enforce this ridiculous plan.

As written, the bill states if a New Mexican citizen doesn’t have health insurance and takes no action, he or she will be committing a crime in the eyes of ObamaCare.

Gov.-elect Susana Martinez (and Attorney General Gary King, for that matter) really needs to get that message and make the decision that, like 20 other states and counting, New Mexico is not going to join the unconstitutional coercive actions of the federal government.

The push-back is already happening. This week in the state of Virginia, a U.S. district judge became the first federal judge to strike down the law, siding with the Virginia attorney general in saying that the mandate overstepped the Constitution.

In a few years, New Mexicans taxpayers will be forced to pay millions of dollars for the program and eventually several billion dollars when the federal government forces the entire plan onto the backs of New Mexican taxpayers.

Specifically, the lawsuit, filed in federal court in the northern district of Florida, alleges that the new law infringes upon the constitutional rights of citizens by mandating all citizens and legal residents have qualifying health care coverage or pay a tax penalty. By imposing such a mandate, the law exceeds the powers of the United States under Article I of the Constitution.

Even more, the tax penalty required under the law constitutes an unlawful direct tax in violation of Article I, sections 2 and 9 of the Constitution.

The lawsuit further claims the nationalized health care plan infringes on the sovereignty of the states and the 10th Amendment to the Constitution by imposing onerous new operating rules that New Mexico must follow — as well as requiring our state to spend additional dollars without providing funds or resources to meet the state’s cost of implementing the law.

ObamaCare has just started to kick in

Companies are canceling or threatening to cancel coverage because the new terms of doing business make business uneconomical. In a recent national survey, 70 percent of doctors polled stated they were unhappy with the Affordable Care Act (as ObamaCare ended up being called).

Some insurance companies announced they would no longer write child-only policies. The new rules say that beginning now, no insurer can refuse coverage to an already-ill child, and that the premiums can’t be higher than those charged for well children. (In a few years the “anti-discrimination” rule will apply to adults.)

My curmudgeon doctor aside, how can you run an insurance company when parents can wait until their children are seriously ill to buy coverage — and then the insurer can’t set the premium according to the expected medical services? That’s not insurance. It’s welfare filtered through business.

At issue here is not the details of the more than 2,000 pages of law. It’s the discretionary power the government has acquired because of it. A one-size-fits-all law was written by Congress.

I’m not saying it would be better if there were no components of ObamaCare enacted into law at all. But the second-best solution is ObamaCare without bureaucratic discretion. Sure, if waivers are selectively granted, some of the harms of ObamaCare will be mitigated. But if no waivers can be granted, people will see the full effects of ObamaCare and may rise up to demand its repeal.

Ultimately, ObamaCare may be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court. But a good start towards voicing our point of view about the unconstitutional components of the bill would be to join states challenging them.