BREAKING: Georgia Legislators Vote To “Nullify” Obamacare

By: Michael Lotfi
44

Georgia

ATLANTA, Mar. 4, 2014 – Yesterday, the Georgia state House of Representatives passed a bill which bans the state from participating in significant portions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). House Bill 707 (HB707), introduced by Rep. Jason Spencer, pushes back against the ACA in five ways. It passed the house in a late-night vote of 115-59.


According to Tenth Amendment Center executive director Michael Boldin, “While Georgia can’t fully stop Obamacare on its own, it can serve as a pretty major roadblock to implementation,” he said. “And as more states get on board with this strategy, it will pull the rug out from under it. Bills like this will end Obamacare from the bottom up.”

Specifically, HB707:

1. Prohibits any state agencies, departments or political subdivisions from using resources or spending funds to advocate for the expansion of Medicaid. This provision works hand-in-hand with HB990 to make it more difficult to expand Medicaid. HB990 would require legislative approval for expansion of the program, barring the governor from doing it by executive order.

2. Prohibits the state of Georgia from running an insurance exchange.

3. Refuses and federal grant money for the purpose of creating or running a state insurance exchange.

4. Ends the University of Georgia Health Navigator Program.

5. Prohibits the Commissioner of Insurance from investigating or enforcing any alleged violation of federal health insurance requirements mandated by Obamacare.

These provisions creates impediments to the implementation and execution of Obamacare in Georgia. We have seen the difficulties created by the number of states simply refusing to set up exchanges. The ACA was predicated on state cooperation. By refusing to help, passage of the bill puts the federal government in an almost impossible position. It never intended to run the healthcare system alone, and ultimately, it can’t do it without state help.

Judge Andrew Napolitano agreed recently, when pointing out that if a number of states were to refuse to participate with the ACA in a wholesale fashion, that multi-state action would “gut Obamacare.”

The provision prohibiting the Georgia insurance commissioner from investigating or enforcing violations of federally mandated health insurance requirements will prove particularly problematic for the feds.

Insurance commissioners serve as the enforcement arm for insurance regulation in the states. The federal government has no enforcement arm. It assumed the state insurance commissioners would enforce all of the provisions of the ACA. So, when people have issues with their mandated coverage, they will have to call the feds.

At this point, it remains unclear who they will even call. Issues the Georgia insurance commissioner will not address include prohibiting a denial of insurance for preexisting conditions, requiring dependent coverage for children up to age 26, and proscribing lifetime or yearly dollar limits on coverage of essential health benefits.

“Disputes over these mandates arise under federal, not state law,” HB707 sponsor Rep. Jason Spencer said. “The federal Department of Health and Human Services can be expected to seek to commandeer the machinery of Georgia’s commissioner of insurance to enforce them or to investigate alleged violations because at present there is no federal health insurance agency and Congress is not likely to create one given the substantial opposition to Obamacare.

Under HB707, the feds won’t be able to do that. They’ll have to figure out how to do it themselves.

This provision stands on solid legal ground under the anti-commandeering doctrine. It rests primarily on four SCOTUS cases: Prigg v. Pennsylvania (1842), New York v. US (1992), Printz v. US (1997) and National Federation of Businesses v. Sebelius. (2012) The Printz case serves the cornerstone. Writing for the majority, Justice Scalia asserted that commandeering is incompatible would the constitutional system.

“We held in New York that Congress cannot compel the States to enact or enforce a federal regulatory program. Today we hold that Congress cannot circumvent that prohibition by conscripting the States’ officers directly. The Federal Government may neither issue directives requiring the States to address particular problems, nor command the States’ officers, or those of their political subdivisions, to administer or enforce a federal regulatory program. It matters not whether policy making is involved, and no case by case weighing of the burdens or benefits is necessary; such commands are fundamentally incompatible with our constitutional system of dual sovereignty.”

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Michael Lotfi

CEO, Political Director at BrandFire Consulting LLC
Michael Lotfi is a Persian-American political analyst and adviser living in Nashville, Tennessee. Lotfi is the founder and CEO of BrandFire Consulting LLC. The firm specializes in public and private technology centered brand development, lead generation, data aggregation, online fundraising, social media, advertising, content generation, public relations, constituency management systems, print and more. Lotfi is also the executive state director for the Tennessee Tenth Amendment Center, a think-tank focused on restraining federal overreach. Lotfi graduated with top honors from Belmont University, a private Christian university located in Nashville, Tennessee.
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  • Josh

    I live in Georgia. So does this mean if we don’t get insurance we won’t have to pay the fine? How does that work?

    • Bev Schewanick

      No fine !!!

      • user225937

        How is that supposed to work.. No fine.

        • Austin

          If nobody signs up and nobody pays the fine then what can they do?

          • hazyblue7

            They take it from you lol All of a sudden your paychecks will be smaller. Good luck with that

          • hazyblue7

            The IRS will take the fine out of your tax return. If you don’t get $ back, then you will owe the $ to the IRS. If you don’t pay it they put a bank levy on your personal accounts and either take it from there or your paychecks. They get their $ one way or the other and they can send you to jail for not paying uou r taxes

      • Tammy Tatem Smith

        you will still have a fine, that is federal. Just not an additional state fine.

    • Robert Poole

      If the IRS winds up enforcing that “fine,” then you’ll probably still be on the hook… unless you feel like committing deliberate tax fraud. (Never mind the deliberate conflation of a fine and a tax. That still confuses me.)

      • 7LibertyForAll

        The only way you commit tax fraud is by signing a 1040 (or other such document) stating that you are an employee of the federal government and thus liable to pay taxes on your income. That does not apply to the rest of us.

        • hazyblue7

          There are tons of ways to commit tax fraud…That doesnt even make sense

          • 7LibertyForAll

            Fraud is intentionally deceiving for personal gain. When one is not a taxpayer, one is not obligated to lie and say that one is.

          • hazyblue7

            Umm…what the hell are you talking about? Typically, tax fraud entails adjusting your income or deductions to show that you make less, so you can pay less taxes. That is tax fraud. If you are using someone else’s SSN to avoid taxes, that is also tax fraud. There would be no benefit in saying that you pay taxes when you letimately don’t. Honestly, I can’t even figure out what your post has to do with anything this article talks about..

          • 7LibertyForAll

            I was replying to your comment regarding tax fraud. Perhaps your comment has nothing to do with what this article talks about. Just sayin’

          • hazyblue7

            No, you originally replied to Robert Poole’s comment on tax fraud. He said that you get stuck paying for either the insurance or the fine if you don’t get the insurance, unless you commit tax fraud because it is the IRS that enforces it. What didnt make any sense was your response. By saying that the only way to commit tax fraud would be to claim that you are an employee of the federal govt, which makes you liable to pay taxes, and that it doesnt apply to the rest of us was completely wrong. Everyone that makes money in the US is required to pay taxes, not just federal employees. You then followed it all up by saying fraud would entail getting personal gain by lying about the fact that you should be a tax payer, when u actually aren’t. This wouldn’t benefit you. The only way to not be a taxpayer, would be to not make any money in the US. Claiming that you do, would mean you have to pay taxes, which would be the opposite of personal gain. If you actually dont make money, then you get free insurance through the govt. Claiming you make money, would mean you have to pay for insurance, which again would be the opposite of personal gain. Every single sentence that you have written has been total nonsense.

          • 7LibertyForAll

            Whatever, believe what you want, dear.

    • user225937

      Of course, you will pay the fine. All this does is say Georgia won’t help implement or enforce the insurance you must buy. You have to have coverage whether your state is involved or not. It’s federal law.

      • Public Voice

        That’s not correct. You won’t have to pay the fine if GA passes this law. State have the right to not follow a federal law if it is unconstitutional. The federal government doesn’t have blanket authority over states. End of story.

        • user225937

          Nullification has a long and unsuccessful history. States do not have the right to decide what is unconstitutional. That function belongs to the Supreme Court. Federal agents on the doorstep of those not in compliance with federal law is the end of the story.

  • Scott Bates

    Awesome….. thank you…..

    • Deb Furlin

      Not awesome. They apparently don’t care about their uninsured.

      • Janet

        Let’s see Deb! My nephew who has acute ADD used to have a 40 hour a week job as a printer’s assistant for a newspaper in Ohio. Since Obamacare, he has been cut back to 20 to 24 hours per week and has no insurance. Now not only does he have no insurance, his pay have been cut by approx. 50% and he can’t keep himself up any longer. SO DO YOU CARE ABOUT THE UNINSURED WHO USED TO HAVE INSURANCE? Or are you just blind to the real facts.

  • Bev Schewanick

    I hope Alabama does the same now.

    • Deb Furlin

      Yeah, who cares about the uninsured. You don’t.

      • Janet

        People like you who absolutely don’t know what you’re talking about really should just shut up. Did your job cancel your insurance, did you get cut to part time? How many uninsured people did you know before Obamacare? ACA caused thousands of people to lose the health insurance that they had through their employers. Also, caused thousands of people to be cut from full time to part time employees.

      • Tammy Tatem Smith

        It is the governments responsibility to provide you insurance, nor is it mine or anyone elses…. it is your responsibility and yours alone.

  • r3VOLution IS NOT republican

    GREAT news!

  • Willie Dowg

    Sorry, but this is not a sure thing to become GA law. It merely passed the GA House. The GA Senate needs to do likewise and then the governor sign it.

    • Michael Lotfi

      Who are you apologizing to? The article clearly states that.

    • Tammy Tatem Smith

      I have no doubt that they will pass it… Gov Deal has been an opponent of Obamacare since day 1… Thank God!!!!

  • dusel1

    It’s a tough job trying to stop federal NAZI dictates.

  • Dove

    My only comment is this: somebody needs to proof read these articles before they are posted.

  • bsc249

    Another fine job. Luv the detail that goes into your stories unlike some of the other pretty faces writing around here… yea, I pretty much said you ain’t pretty LOL!

  • garyspuppy

    One thing states are not considering is their efforts to deter or outright legislate the ACC out of their state and mandate the responsibility back to the Feds these very efforts are setting up the scenario to occur for what many may not want and that is a one payer system or another name a one payer national heath care plan, or socialized medicine. Just food for thought before you start cheering too loudly.

    • user225937

      You have a good point.. ACA is a messy, compromise system. I believe it is a step on the way to a single payer system. This nullification action helps snarl ACA which will lead to more government healthcare involvement. Thanks. Georgia

  • Ruth crawford

    Can a state unilaterally suspend the operation of ObamaCare within its borders? Of course not. That measure would violate the Supremacy Clause of the Constitution. We fought a Civil War over that question.
    What if two states banded together to suspend the operation of ObamaCare within their common territory? Can they do that? The answer remains the same. No.
    But let’s try this. Let’s have those two states – and others – now enter into a compact and submitit to Congress for its consent. What happens then? Article I, Section 10, Clause 3 of the Constitution forbids states from entering into any agreement or compact with another state without the consent of Congress. The converse meaning of that clause is that two states may enter into a compact if they obtain the CONSENT OF CONGRESS.

    • Hammertime

      This is not an instance in which two states are entering a compact. Georgia is unilatterally effictively nullifying an unconstitutional federal law. You obviously have an insufficient understanding of the nature of the Union. The federal government is not a national government. It does not have general powers. It has only the very limited authorities delegated to it by the states. If you look in Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution you will not find the authority to regulate private industry. The passage of Obamacare is the excersize of an usurped power. Since the states formed the Union, and the federal government is also a creature of thr states, the states have the sole authority to judge the extent of its powers. If a state finds a federal law to be unconstitutional, it has every legal right to declare that law void within its territory. Jefferson and Madison would agree.

  • ConfusedinBixby

    1. It prohibits any state agencies, departments or political subdivisions from using resources or spending funds to advocate for the expansion of Medicaid. This provision works hand-in-hand with HB990 to make it more difficult to expand Medicaid. HB990 would require legislative approval for expansion of the program, barring the governor from doing it by executive order.

    2. Prohibits the state of Georgia from running an insurance exchange.

    3. Refuses and federal grant money for the purpose of creating or running a state insurance exchange.

    4. Ends the University of Georgia Health Navigator Program.

    5. Prohibits the Commissioner of Insurance from investigating or enforcing any alleged violation of federal health insurance requirements mandated by Obamacare.

    So, I guess GA is going back to the 1950′s or so??? Yeah, how is this helping the people of GA???

    Issues the Georgia insurance commissioner will not address include prohibiting a denial of insurance for preexisting conditions, requiring dependent coverage for children up to age 26, and proscribing lifetime or yearly dollar limits on coverage of essential health benefits.

  • Deb Furlin

    And I’m sure all the uninsured of Georgia thanks them. Perhaps they should nullify the healthcare of the legislators.

    • Tammy Tatem Smith

      Yup… we thank them very much. All states should do this.

  • Penelope Fisher

    I am uninsured with type 1 diabetes and I thank them very much. Obamacare is making life harder for me. I hope they do succeed in getting it nullified.

    • CharlaS

      My friend who is Type 1 is barely surviving. Since last August she has not been able to get test strips or insulin until this month in California under Obamacare. Don’t know how she is alive.

      • Tater

        I’m glad your friend is alive, I’m happy that OC has help some people, but we still should have the right to choose if we want it and not be penialized for choosing not to have it.

        • Magic Hayes

          You won’t be penalized for not having it if you live in a state that does not expand Medicaid. If you have insurance, you have insurance under the Affordable Health Care Act. How dumb are you? Probably too dumb to know how dumb. Futility.

  • James atx

    Woot! This is excellent news. There is no reason why people who have preexisting conditions should expect to get affordable healthcare. By giving them care, it just raises the price for all of us. Either they pay up the big bucks, or they die. I don’t see why it’s so hard for them to accept this reality. Life isn’t fair and not all of us will live a nice long life. Boo hoo on you if you don’t like it. Also, health insurance and healthcare should not be cheap or affordable for some and expensive for others. It should cost what it costs, and if you cannot afford it because you do not have a good job that pays well or offers insurance, I fail to see why I should have to subsidize you. I’m sorry that you lost your job and insurance, but it’s not my problem. Deal with it, and keep me out of your problems.

    I will also say that since Obamacare came into effect, my waits to see my doctor have increased because there are people who never had a doctor going to see MY doctor now. So instead of going right in whenever I want, I find I have to schedule out a day more in advance now. It’s ridiculous to think that I’m being punished just so some low-life can go see MY doctor because she/he has the sniffles.

    Say no to healthcare for the poor and sick. Repeal obamacare NOW!