In March of 2010, Nancy Pelosi, then US House Majority Leader, made what has become the defining statement concerning the Affordable Care Act (ACA or Obamacare) and a testament to what is wrong with Washington’s legislative process, “We have to pass it to see what’s in it.” The truth of her often ridiculed statement is that no one knew what this law would morph into, because the 2,400 plus pages of the “law” bears no resemblance to how it is being implemented. Every day, Americans find more of what is in it, and it is literally making us sick.
On 19 February, Colorado has another opportunity to begin to unburden ourselves from this now proven failed federal disaster.
HB15-1163, Contingent Repeal Health Insurance Laws Aligning with ACA will be heard in the State House Health, Insurance, & Environment committee on Thursday, February 19th. The bills “adds an automatic repeal to provisions in the state health insurance laws that is triggered if the comparable federal law requirement under the ACA is repealed by Congress and approved by the President.” This is not a partisan effort to repeal ACA, but it is a common sense effort to react to changes as Washington makes needed changes to ACA, as well as to the possibility of Obamacare being repealed in its entirety.
Law of the land? Not so much.
Even as Representative Klingenschmitt’s bill does not attempt to repeal anything today, and only sets up conditions to do so if required through an act of Congress and the President, Colorado’s guardians of nationalized healthcare will circle their wagons in an attempt stop even the discussion of doing so in the future. Proponents of ACA in the Colorado Legislature claim Obamacare to be “the law of the land” and that the State of Colorado cannot ignore federal law; they’re wrong on both counts.
Each morning, Colorado citizens wake up flagrantly thumbing our noses at federal law by ignoring federal statutes prohibiting the possession and sale of marijuana. We have proven a state can ignore Washington. Anyone exposed to basics civics classes knows that once a law comes into existence it cannot be legally changed by the Executive Branch alone, yet we all know Obamacare has been changed many times, and it’s been changed well outside of the normal workings of government. PJ media highlights 18 times that the supposed law was illegally changed through February 2014, and changes have continued at the whim of the White House – in spite of what the law says.
A powerful challenge to the “law of the land” myth was filed in a lawsuit in December 2013 by Jeffrey Cutler. Mr. Cutler challenges how the government fails to apply law equally across the 50 states. The lawsuit shows that Obamacare is “not a universal policy applying to all the states; only citizens in those states whose regulators chose to implement Obama’s transition policy would be able to keep their health insurance plans. In other words, the Obama administration gave individual states the power to decide for themselves whether or not existing federal law would be enforced in their own states.”
Obamacare – The failure that keeps on failing.
The failures of Obamacare continue to mount, and even the original cheerleaders for ACA see that it is not benefiting those the law claimed to help. In 2013, the Huffington Post sounded the alarm that ACA is causing part-time workers to have their work hours cut in order for employees to escape the punitive costs imposed by Obamacare. Last week, 20,000 union Longshoreman threatened to shut down 29 US ports as Obamacare is forcing them to pay taxes on their negotiated healthcare benefits, all because the government says their healthcare plans are too generous.
The media is full of stories of families devastated by massive out of pocket costs forced upon them through changes in their health insurance which are mandated by Obamacare, and reports of the increasing burdens placed upon doctors to comply with ACA at the expense of patient care are equally numerous. Even Colorado Democrats acknowledged these problems as they heard testimony on HB 15-1066, the Repeal of the Colorado State Health Benefit Exchange. The status-quo is, by everyone’s account, unacceptable.
Colorado’s HB15-1163 could get us out of the ObamaCare snare.
Next week, the Colorado House again has a chance via HB15-1163 to put in place options to prepare to detangle us from a federal law that is in reality no law at all, and one that is hurting Colorado families. As stated by Representative Kim Ransom(R) during a previous hearing on healthcare in Colorado, “Health insurance coverage does not equal healthcare” and Obamacare is not improving the healthcare of the majority of Colorado citizens.
We can do better, and our legislators can do better than Washington in working to improve healthcare in our state. HB15-1163 is a reasonable step in the right direction.
Don Rodgers has been an influential political activist and leader in Colorado for 8 years. He is the founder, leader, and organizer of the local 9-12 Project Pikes Peak Patriots, and a military veteran. Find Don on Twitter and Facebook.