Monday

July 24th, 2017

Insight

Federalism Will Destroy Obama's Program

Dick Morris

By Dick Morris

Published June 15, 2015

 Federalism Will Destroy Obama's Program

Now that "states' rights" is no longer a code word for protecting racist statutes in the South, it is emerging as the key way to take our country back from the big government collectivism Obama has sought to impose.

Chief Justice John Roberts was the first to open the door and point the way to a federalist strategy for conservatives by ruling that states could decide, for themselves, whether to opt into the Medicaid expansion decreed in the ObamaCare Law. Most states had eligibility thresholds for Medicaid well below the 133% of poverty level set in the new law. Texas, for example, only covered those with incomes below 1/3 of the poverty level in its Medicaid program. Many other red states had similarly low levels of eligibility. (Essentially, this state legislation was tantamount to a decision only to use Medicaid to pay for the elderly in nursing homes, who have no income, rather than for the poor who do).

Roberts said that was OK. It was up to each state to decide. While some red state governors folded and opted in to the ObamaCare program, most held firm.

Now conservatives like Texas Senator Ted Cruz are pushing the idea that if the Supreme Court rules against Obama in King v Burwell and holds that federal ObamaCare subsidies can only go to those who enrolled through state exchanges, the proper Congressional response is to let each state decide whether or not to opt in. Should that pass -- a reasonable proposition -- states would be able to decide whether to participate in ObamaCare or not. If not, there would be no mandate to buy insurance, no ObamaCare taxes would be collected in their jurisdiction, and employers would not have to offer insurance. Most states will likely opt to collect some of the ObamaCare taxes and use the money to provide tax credits for people who need insurance to buy it.

Together, these changes will place huge tax and spending burdens on blue states that will be largely absent from red ones. The resulting competitive advantage for red states will tilt the map of the United States even further to the red states, draining their liberal countrymen of wealthy people, money, and employment opportunities. Employers will flock to Texas from California, for example to avoid having to insure all their workers. Higher taxes in blue states will drive out income earners, pushing them into lower tax areas.

Because Medicaid won't drain state coffers of funds in the red states, their schools will improve and their public universities will enjoy a competitive advantage in tuition. (ObamaCare offers to pay for the new Medicaid patients in the first three years, pay 90% for the next three, but makes no provision for extra subsidies thereafter).

Blue state governors and legislators will have the choice of watching their states descend into Detroit-like status as they are forced to raise taxes on an ever decreasing tax base. Blue states will see the meaning of Margaret Thatcher's famous dictum that socialism does not work because "sooner or later, you run out of other peoples' money."

By forcing states to decide for themselves on ObamaCare, the courts have deployed the ultimate weapon -- federalism -- to curb the presidents left wing program. Just as checks and balances and federalism were designed to work in our amazingly prescient Constitution!

Comment by clicking here.

Dick Morris, who served as adviser to former Sen. Trent Lott (R-Miss.) and former President Clinton, is the author of 16 books, including his latest, Screwed and Here Come the Black Helicopters.

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles