Drew Zahn is a WND news editor who cut his journalist teeth as a member of the award-winning staff of Leadership, Christianity Today's professional journal for church leaders. A former pastor, he is the editor of seven books, including Movie-Based Illustrations for Preaching & Teaching, which sparked his ongoing love affair with film and his weekly WND column, "Popcorn and a (world)view."More ↓Less ↑
In a televised interview, U.S. House GOP leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, insisted he will “never ever, ever” allow Obamacare to be implemented and hinted that the newly elected Republican majority in Congress has “a lot of tricks up our sleeves” to follow through on that promise.
In a letter sent today, Boehner has also revealed what at least one of those tricks may be.
Boehner’s letter – to Gov. Haley Barbour, R-Miss., chairman of the Republican Governors Association – seeks to build a nationwide “partnership” between congressional Republicans and GOP governors for a common goal: “to stop the expansion of federal power in Washington in hopes of returning power and freedom to states and individuals.”
In the letter, Boehner specifically calls upon governors to help stop the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare:
“I believe a shared commitment exists among many reform-minded governors and legislators,” Boehner writes, “to … repealing and replacing President Obama’s job-crushing health care law.”
In his interview yesterday with Fox News Channel’s Bret Baier, Boehner pledged that Republicans in the newly elected House “are going to repeal Obamacare” and that “I’m going to make sure this health-care bill never ever, ever is implemented.”
Video of the interview can be seen below:
In the interview, Boehner made the case that the president’s reform act would be damaging to both health care and the economy:
“This health-care bill will ruin the best health-care system in the world, and it will bankrupt our country,” Boehner said, “And secondly, let’s not forget, this is also about jobs. And if you look at all of the requirements [the bill places] on employers, you can understand why they’re not hiring new employees, because we’ve raised the cost of employment.”
In his letter to the governors, however, Boehner also made the case that the health-care bill represents an expansion of federal government that threatens the rights and powers of the states, particularly as guaranteed by the 10th Amendment, which reserves to the states and people those powers not specifically delegated to the federal government by the Constitution.
“The American people have spoken, and it is clear they want a smaller, more accountable government in Washington and policies that honor the Constitution and the rights of states, communities, families and individual citizens,” Boehner writes. “They want an end to the expansion of federal power in Washington, which is happening at the expense of their freedom and their opportunities for prosperity.”
He continues, “With a new majority in the House, a strengthened Republican Conference in the Senate and an expanded team of GOP governors committed to reform, we have an opportunity for unprecedented collaboration on behalf of the American people in the effort to stop the expansion of federal power in Washington in hopes of returning power and freedom to states and individuals.”
In his interview with Fox, Boehner said of Obamacare, “There’s a lot of tricks up our sleeves in terms of how we can dent this, kick it, slow it down to make sure it never happens.”
Now, Boehner is appealing to the states, some of which have already taken the initiative with a few “tricks” of their own.
As WND has reported, Oklahoma voters overwhelmingly approved a ballot initiative amending the state constitution to declare mandates to purchase health insurance illegal.
In August, Missouri voters approved a state constitutional amendment rejecting Obamacare with 70 percent of the vote. In Florida, the state legislature placed Constitutional Amendment 9, “Florida Health Care Freedom,” on the ballot, but the measure was shot down by the liberal Florida Supreme Court on technical grounds.
State legislatures in Georgia, Idaho, Louisiana and Virginia have all passed laws that would similarly stifle Obamacare by granting citizens freedom of choice in health care.
Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli is leading a case currently in court challenging the federal government’s use of the Commerce Clause powers to force individuals to buy a private product.
Cuccinelli’s statements are similar to those Boehner expressed in his letter to governors:
“This case is not about health care. This case is about protecting our liberty,” Cuccinelli said. “This case is about the states providing a check and balance to the federal government, which is exceeding the power we, the people, gave it through the Constitution. If we lose this fight and the federal government is allowed to cross this line, Congress will be granted a virtually unlimited power to order you to buy anything.
“That is not rhetoric. That is reality,” he said.
There are other legal challenges to Obamacare, including one by nearly 20 states and another in Michigan on behalf of four residents who claim they will be hurt by being required to buy health insurance.
The effort is led by U.S. Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, whose discharge petition would call for a new House vote on the proposal.
It needs 218 signatures of House members, and since that constitutes a majority in the 435-member House, the goal of the discharge petition likely would be accomplished, he has explained. The effort now has 173 signatures.
In a related effort, more than 45,000 voices from across America are offering their encouragement to members of the House who have yet to sign the discharge petition offered by King.
Whereas, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, approved by a narrow vote of the House of Representatives earlier this year, threatens to transform the U.S. health-care system from its roots in free enterprise and personal choice;
Whereas, the act is unconstitutional because of its unprecedented requirement that Americans purchase a service;
Whereas, the system the law would create is financially unsustainable, places personal medical decisions in the hands of bureaucrats and is likely to lead to rationing of health-care options;
Whereas, the act is likely to result in forcing some 87 million Americans to drop their current health-care coverage;
Whereas, the costs involved in complying with the law are likely to cost more Americans their jobs, inhibit the creation of new employment opportunities and suppress wages …
The petition drive was launched by Joseph Farah, founder and CEO of WorldNetDaily, who said the results are worthy of note already.
“This is a very impressive petition, but it will be much more impressive at 100,000 or 200,000 or 1 million,” he said. “We need people signing and spreading the news about this effort – news that has not been reported anywhere else except at WND.”