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Forget Repeal and Replace – how about Nullifying ObamaCare

Stethoscope with reflectionRepeal and replace. Those were the two words that captured the imagination of Americans who opposed the lumbering leviathan known as ObamaCare. We turned out by the millions at the polls to help make those two words a reality.

But those two words beg the question. Repeal and replace with what? With that great old way of doing health care in this country that we had before Obamacare?

To the good old days when the federal government S-CHIPed it’s way – a few million families at a time – to a single payer system? To that great old system where federal bureaucrats wear down doctors with ever decreasing reimbursements, and states with more and more burdens? To that old way of doing business where federal officials make more and more decisions about the quality of our care, while the patients and doctors back home make fewer and fewer?

There is a new word floating about in conservative circles that is shorter – and better – than Repeal and Replace; it is called nullification. And the road to nullification is through an initiative you’ll be hearing soon called the health care compact.

It goes something like this.

Suppose there were to be a state, or a few states, that decided the old way of doing business in health care just wasn’t working for them. That the cash the federal health care bureaucrats in DC was sending to the states was not enough to cover the accompanying obligations, and that there had to be a better way to run a rodeo than this. Imagine if that state – or a few states – simply said “Enough already!”

That is the vision behind the health care compact concept; end the dependence on ever diminishing federal support for programs like Medicare and Medicaid, opt out of the federal system altogether and form a compact among and between some states, and see if the locals can’t do a better job than the fat crats in DC.

The upside of the compact, if it works, is this; it would reduce the scope of Washington’s power. States, not Congress, the White House, or federal bureaucracies, would set the rules for health care, from Medicare and Medicaid to personal insurance policies.

In the words of left wing folk singer singer Tracy Chapman, we’re “talkin’ about a revolution” if this idea catches on. And if we can get the compact to work in health care, we could soon return other areas of federal control to the states. To the people.

Isn’t that what the 2010 elections were all about in the 1st place. And our Constitution?

So how would this all work? Is there any precedent for this, or is the compact just another pipe dream, like tax reform Or deficit reduction.

As Bill Kristol pointed out in a very good column about this subject back in early January, “Interstate compacts aren’t a wild idea. They just haven’t been tapped for such a political purpose before. The authority for compacts was established in the Constitution (Article 1, Section 10), and more than 200 have been set up. One example: the agreement uniting Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia to build and operate the Washington area’s Metro subway system.”

Kristol notes that there is an even bigger – and better – reason to form compacts. By banding together, states would have substantially more political clout in Washington, DC. Which is exactly how the founders intended things to be back when they designed our federal system.

What good would local control do? Well, for openers, driving such important matters to the states would allow for more choice, and for more innovation. Some states will do better than others, and allow more adaptation – and adoption. Adopt the good, and toss away the bad.

More important, it would allow for more citizen control. And less control in the hands of people with little vested interest in outcomes, living thousands of miles away from those who are paying the bills.

As the weeks and moths pass in 2011, keep a lookout for the word compact. It may just be the best way to beat ObamaCare. Not just by repealing and replacing one bad law with another, but by returning power to that pesky little interest group known as We the People.

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Comments (10)

  1. LumbeeIndian says:

    We must have our head in the skies if you can believe some “Advisory Board” made up of Government employees who are told what to do; are actually going to have any sympathy for Senior Americans. That is a laugh! Our government is already giving FREE Welfare, food stamps, housing assistance and OUR Social Security to illegal immigrants daily, as citizens who have worked here all their lives all turned away when they need help. Obamacare will be the worst system of Euthanasia you could ever imagine. Elderly need loving care and aid when they have health problems, but Obamacare would leave you out in the cold, shivering and sick! NO government run health care is good. Have you not heard of the thousands of people in European Countries who have sold all they owned, and fled here to get the care they need when their ‘wonderful’ socialized medicine in their own Country (where they are taxed up to 75%) fails to care for them…they are told they are too old, and since they can offer no further help to their Country, they will have to do the best they can. Simply said, they can go home and die. Doctors hands will be tied, and any with a heart will leave medicine for a new career. Think on this, we cannot even get our Country to recognize us now, over illegals and green card workers when our Unemployment is “truly” 20%! We must pray and act and VOTE our concerns. Only then, will we see true change. That change needs to be in the Insurance Industry, not by collapsing it, but rebuilding it allowing us to purchase Insurance across state lines, for one. Then they will be forced to give Senior Americans a fair plan. The system of Capitalism that made American great CAN be restored.

    • Hassan says:

      False: The new Health Choices Commissioner will oversee a vitaery of choices to be offered through new insurance exchanges. The bill itself specifies the minimum services to be covered in a basic plan, including prescription drugs, mental health services, maternity and well-baby care and certain vaccines and preventive services (pages 27-28). We find nothing in the bill that prevents insurance companies from offering benefits that exceed the minimums. In fact, the legislation allows (page 84) any company that offers an approved basic plan to offer also an enhanced plan, a premium plan and even a premium plus plan that could include vision and dental benefits.

  2. Steve O says:

    Why not replace? Do you seriously think that the system before so-called “Obomacare” was fair and unbroken?

    If the GOP plans to kill “Obomacare”, if it is going to claim to have any compassion at all for seniors it had better come up with a better alternative to replace it with.

    Do you seriously think that a private insurance company is going to take on a old aging person with declining health at AFFORDABLE rate just out of the goodness of its heart? What about pre-existing conditions then. Most seniors in declining health will have a pre-existing condition. Under current laws, that means with the vast majority of private insurance companies that denyal of coverage or only limited coverage at insane high rates or with a deductible so high that the senior will still lose big time will remain standard operating procedure. And what about prescription drugs? Under a private policy that will mean no drug coverage or only coverage at rates so high they will not be affordable.

    And what happens when they get sick? What happens when the insurance company just cancels the policy to avoid and further payouts? Under current laws this happens all the time.

    And what about the insurance companies right to earn a fair profit? How is that going to happen if the senior does not join the company until age 65? It does not even compare to the concept of a central pool for that same senior that has existed for 30 or 40 years.

    Or do you want to remain a hypocrite preaching about the evils of so-called “socialized medicine” but not wanting to change Medicare which IS so-called “socialized medicine”?

  3. amwfsifjt says:

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  4. Loradae says:

    What a joy to find such clear thinking. Thanks for pnostig!

  5. Diane Deal says:

    This is not to publish, but rather an editorial observation. Your ideas are very good, but you need a proofreader. Some errors could be typos, but “..federal health care bureaucrats…was sending
    ..” sabotages your message. Don’t rely just on Spellcheck; get a retired English teacher to proofread your messages. Sent without malice!

  6. Patricia Taylor says:

    Do away with Obamacare and
    start all over again. He does not
    know what the people need. We
    certainly don’t need more money
    being paid in.

  7. tod rubin says:

    I see minimal difference in this proposal than what we have with Obamacare. Just an exchange of power between 2 bloated, inefficient bureucracies, albeit at the local level. I agree with Sam above. First order of business is to starve Obamacare of financing and then eliminate all levels of gov’t from this sector. If you truly want to place the power in the hands of the people, you do it with changing tax law re: medical insurance and encourage personal responsibility and choice with HSAs combined with high deductible catastrophic policies that are sold in a national market across state lines. Add in comprehensive medical liability reform, trade group pooling of insured and other incentives like smoking cessation, weight loss and this would be a good place to start. I agree we need to get more independence from feds, however, I have little confidence in the politicians at the local level as well.

  8. Ron Brown says:

    The best thing we could do for the health of us is to totally shut down the FDA and replace it with an agency headed by an elected official that has OUR health in mind rather than the bottom line of the drug and food industries.

  9. Sam says:

    The only clean approach is to defund the health care law. The other approaches are probably not doable ubtil 2012, if then. Cut off the money now and it’s dead.

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