What can states do to oppose ObamaCare?

As everyone knows by now in the aftermath of the "loud" debate over ObamaCare, the feds will be working to implement this massive (expensive) new program over the next several years, but it will take time. 

Of course, many people and politicians are looking for ways to stop and/or overturn the program via legal and political means.  "Legal", in the sense of the budding lawsuits that are being filed to challege various aspects of the program, not the least of which is the fact that it forces individual Americans to buy a commercial product for the first time in American history.  And "political" in the sense of introducing legislation to re-write and/or repeal the bill entirely - which of course will rely on having majorities in Congress that are so inclined, which will have to wait until after the coming November elections.

But this overlooks the individual state governments, which do have some options themselves that could be used to resist ObamaCare, not the least of which because they are called on to play such a large role in the program.

Researcher Dennis Smith outlines several suggestions in a recent paper on the subject.  He points out that the debate over ObamaCare actually isn't over (in the regulatory sense), but that it's only just begun, in that the details have to be worked out all the way down to the state and local level.  Which is where these governments have options...  According to Smith, they can:

  1. Make federal officials explain themselves in broad daylight.  “Federal officials obviously control the regulatory process, but states
    should demand, individually and collectively, that the federal
    government respond to their priorities.”
  2. Insist on rational rule-making for Medicaid. “States should insist that, instead of issuing a single, mammoth
    Medicaid rule, HHS should issue separate rules so that all issues will
    receive proper attention.”
  3. Take the Feds to court, if necessary, to protect state interests. “States should challenge HHS whenever it undermines state authority.”
  4. Keep citizens fully informed every step of the way. “State officials have an obligation to fully explain the impact of this
    new law on their citizens and create the public forum for holding
    federal officials accountable.”

However you look at it, legal or political...or regulatory, the fight over ObamaCare really has just begun.  Conservatives need to keep it up, at every level.


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