Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Bill by Beavers and Pody seeks to ban State implementation or administering of Obamacare

Sen. Mae Beavers of Mt. Juliet and Rep. Mark Pody of Lebanon have introduced a bill that would prohibit any cooperation by the state or its agencies in implementing or administering Obamacare in Tennessee. I have my doubts that this is a wise bill.  As much as I may think Obamacare is a mistake, I would want to know what would be the implication of prohibiting any state participation in implementing or administering the program. Does that mean county health departments or welfare agencies cannot inform people that the program exist? There is a lot of federal grants that match state or local funding. If a federal grant in any way supported implementation of the Affordable Care Act, could the state or local agencies of government not accept those funds? Is TennCare now part of Obamacare?  Is the health care system so integrated that it is possible to ban any state participation in Obamacare?

The bill may very well be workable; I don't know. It has several co-sponsors who are level-headed smart people who I do not think would be co-sponsored an unworkable bill.  I just hope it is given a lot of scrutiny before it is passed. 

This bills is already being presented as banning  Obamacare in the state. (See Channel 5's report) This bill is not "nullification."  It does not call for arresting agents of the Federal government who are administering Obamacare. I am not yet sure this is a wise bill but it is not a dangerous, unconstitutional bill. States have no obligation to enforce federal law.  There is difference between refusing to enforce federal law and saying a federal law in your state is not enforceable.

Follow this link to read the Beavers and Pody press release on their bill.
Follow this link to read the text of the bill and see the list of co-sponsors.

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