With thanks to Washington State Campaign for Liberty, where this column was published July 14, 2010.
At the beginning of the last legislative session, Matt submitted a package of 10th Amendment bills including the Washington State Health Care Freedom Act which would exempt Washington State citizens from nationalized health care. You can sign a petition in support of this bill here.
WHY WASHINGTON MUST OPT OUT OF NATIONALIZED HEALTH CARE
I, like many people, believe that the Constitution is not a living document. The corollary to this principle is that if it is not living then it cannot die. However, the question of whether the Constitution is followed and enforced depends on you and me.
If imposed, nationalized health care will crush our economy. According to the Washington Policy Center “The number of people on Medicaid will increase by 280,000 for a total cost of Medicaid to WA taxpayers in excess of $30 billion over the next 10 years.” Currently the operating budget in the state of Washington is a little over $30 billion.
This federal regulatory program is also clearly unconstitutional, creating government powers beyond those enumerated by the Constitution. It also violates our system of dual sovereignty protected by the 10th Amendment which the United States Supreme Court has reaffirmed time and again. In the New York v. U.S. (1992) and Printz v. U.S. (1997) the court specifically stated that “Congress cannot compel a state to enact or enforce a federal regulatory program.” Yet, that is exactly what is contemplated under Nationalized Health Care. As if those reasons aren’t enough Nationalized Health Care proponents argue that the federal government can force you to by a product under the Commerce Clause (Article 1, Section 8, of the U.S. Constitution). There is one problem, inaction or the failure to buy is not commerce.
For these reasons I, along with Rep. Bill Hinkle, introduced HB 2669, the Health Care Freedom Act, opting Washington State out of Nationalized Health Care. The House Democrat leadership refused to even give it a hearing and predictably many defenders in our state House protested the legislation and began calling us racist and secessionist. In fact, the quote from our Speaker Pro Tem Jeff Morris (D – Mount Vernon) was “We want to lead the state out of recession. They want to lead the state out of the country.” Obviously, this is absurd. The intent of the state sovereignty Bills are to erect barriers against an ever-encroaching federal bureaucracy, while keeping the nation unified. That said, Washington D. C. is on a course that will destroy our Constitutional Republic. If the federal government would get out of the way, we would be free as individual states to fix our own problems as the founders intended. Remember this in November.
Matthew T. Shea
4th Dist. (Spokane Valley)