The Year of State Sovereignty?
By Bernie Quigley
- For The Hill on 2/4/10
At a press conference last October Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi was asked: “Madam Speaker, where specifically does the Constitution grant Congress the authority to enact an individual health insurance mandate?”
She replied with that wild-eyed self-assurance that drew more shrill and extreme as we got to Christmas: “Are you serious? Are you serious?”
She shook her head and moved on. Her aide, Nadeam Elshami, said that questioning the Speaker about whether the Constitution authorizes Congress to mandate that individuals buy health care was not “a serious question.”
This week the Virginia Senate passed a bill prohibiting a requirement for Virginians to purchase health-care insurance. With a Republican State House and Governor, this bill will likely make it into law.
In an effort led by Texas Governor Rick Perry who is up for reelection on March 2, more than 2/3rd’s of the States have introduced measures to stop individual mandates on health care. Many State Attorney Generals threaten law suits if current federal reform proposals are passed into law. The Heritage Foundation reports that state legislators across the country are considering various bills that would allow their state to opt out of key provisions of Obamacare or provide state voters a chance at the ballot box to reject nationalized health care in their state.
“Regardless of legislative components of the Virginia action yesterday, Conservatives should cheer the resurgence of federalism and what it means for reigning in the rapidly increasing federal government. With most states starting their legislative sessions, this may be just the beginning of what could be the ‘Year for State Sovereignty,’” says Dani Doane, director of government relations at The Heritage Foundation.