State Opposition to Federal Healthcare Reform

In a post a few months ago I lamented that state government officials, who have much to lose in the proposed federal healthcare reforms, have not spoken out much in opposition to the costs the reforms would foist on them.  There have been a few cases, and here is another.

Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum (who is running for governor) says he will sue to stop it, should a healthcare bill pass.  “A citizen’s choice not to buy health insurance cannot rationally be construed as economic activity, or even ‘activity,’ to subject that inactivity to regulation under the Commerce Clause,” a review by McCollum’s office concluded.

Scott Brown’s election to Ted Kennedy’s old Senate seat in Massachusetts presents an additional challenge to the passage of Obamacare, but with bills already having passed in both Houses of Congress, some type of healthcare legislation will surely come up for a vote.

Here’s where vocal opposition from state officials could make a difference.  McCollum says he’s talked with attorneys general in other states who will join him in the lawsuit, but he declined to name them.  If they are really opposed to it, speaking out now, before legislation is voted on at the federal level, could have a big effect.  Are they too afraid to publicly state their opposition?

Perhaps state-level opponents just don’t get much press, but I am still surprised that more state officials haven’t spoken up in opposition, as McCollum has.

Randall G. Holcombe is Research Fellow at the Independent Institute and DeVoe Moore Professor of Economics at Florida State University. His Independent books include Housing America: Building Out of a Crisis (edited with Benjamin Powell); and Writing Off Ideas: Taxation, Foundations, and Philanthropy in America .
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