by Michael Maharrey
Texas has the opportunity to take matters into its own hands.
Opposition to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, with its embedded health insurance mandates, has stirred a widespread revival of interest in the Tenth Amendment and state sovereignty issues.
The passage of the health care act opened the eyes of many previously apathetic citizens, making them aware of the rapidly expanding scope and influence of the federal government and its intrusiveness into their everyday lives. They intuitively understand that requiring them to purchase health insurance falls far beyond the powers granted to Congress by the Constitution. Suddenly awake and alarmed by the fact that the federal government has grown so far out of control, and frustrated by what they see as the lack of responsiveness by politicians in D.C., many Americans find themselves looking for answers.
And they are turning to their states.
Fourteen states have sued, seeking to block implementation of the unconstitutional health care act. Twelve states, led by Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum filed in federal court in Pensacola.
“The Constitution nowhere authorizes the United States to mandate, either directly or under threat of penalty, that all citizens and legal residents have qualifying health care coverage,” the lawsuit states.
But some states are asserting their own authority to block unconstitutional acts, recognizing that federal courts don’t stand as the sole arbiter of constitutionality.
On Nov. 16, Texas Representative Leo Berman (R-Tyler) filed a bill in the Texas House of Representatives that would nullify federal health care legislation in the the Lone Star State. HB-297 asserts:
The federal Act is not authorized by the United States Constitution and violates the Constitution’s true meaning and intent as expressed by the founders of this country and the ratifiers of the Constitution.
The federal Act:
(1) is invalid in this state;
(2) is not recognized by this state;
(3) is specifically rejected by this state; and
(4) is null and void and of no effect in this state.
The bill takes things a step further, making it a crime for any official, agent, or employee of the United States or an employee of any corporation to enforce any part of the health care act in Texas, and imposes fines up to $5,000 and/or five years in prison for anyone convicted of doing so.
Read the rest at The Tenth Amendment Center