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Make Mine Freedom

Saturday, March 09, 2013

A Letter to the Idaho Legislature about Health Exchanges

Ladies and gentlemen of the Idaho House Health & Welfare committee:

I have the greatest respect for the work in which you and other legislators and the Governor are engaged. Though I do not apologize for the tone or the content of this email, please allow me to apologize in advance for its length.

I would have been there Thursday to present my case in person; however, I do not have the funds to travel even to Boise, and I place the needs of my family over nearly everything else.

Still, I just learned from the Idaho Statesman that you passed H248 with a “do pass” recommendation out of the committee with a 10-1 vote. While I’m grateful to know I didn’t waste my fuel and my breath on a personal appeal for liberty, state sovereignty, and plain old human decency, I’d like to express my disappointment at your behavior. Consider why you are in the state legislature. Is it to help special interests accomplish their goals of making competition scarce? Is it to craft laws imposing your will on the people of Idaho? Or, is it to serve the people of Idaho?

I watched the public comment and testimony on H248 and noted that the vast majority of supporters of the bill were lobbyists for the insurance, medical and dental industries—people whose pocket will theoretically get fatter as a result of the Insurance Exchange and Obamacare. At the same time, the vast majority of opponents were everyday citizens fighting the growth of government. A conclusion here is obvious: with the exception of the 1 no vote, you, like every other corrupt scallywag in a self-serving ruling class, listen to money more than reason and conscience. It amounts to a narcissistic type of cronyism. How very disappointing indeed! While I don’t mean to be rude, I do mean to harshly chastise you.

Ladies and gentlemen, cronyism will destroy Idaho and the US. Yes, that’s an accusation, and if the shoe fits, wear it because 10 of you and 23 in the Senate totally ignored those people who will be responsible for paying the bill the Health Insurance Exchange will generate. 10 of you and 23 in the Senate ignored reason for a false notion of a modicum of control for Idaho.

I know that there are some opponents who want to take a “wait and see” approach to this, and I agree that is not feasible. I appreciate the safeguards that H248 placed in the bill that was passed in the Senate. However, If a Health Insurance Exchange is so good for Idaho, why wasn’t an act passed before Obamacare became the burden it has become? Why not exercise the power of the state to reject Obamacare and all of its strings outright? In fact, that is exactly what I’d like to see you do. Don’t wait. Reject it out of hand right now. Yes, I know that includes $21 million in grants from the federal government, but if you and the Governor are sacrificing your principles for money, it becomes filthy lucre, and you should be ashamed of yourselves.

It’s a tragedy that so few in the state legislature truly understand the role of the 10th and 14th amendments and the real power state legislators possess. While it’s true that such a power cannot and should not be wielded capriciously, the same can be said of the legislative power. Do not follow the Rahm Emmanuel approach to government, “we can’t let a good crisis go to waste.” Do not repeat the error of the Nancy Pelosi House of Representatives and force feed bad law to Idaho! Without the power to say “NO” to federal incursion, the 10th and 14th amendments are powerless and the state serves no function.

Currently, in the House is H229 which is titled “Firearms within Idaho, not subject to federal authority.” So, Idaho’s legislature is willing to nullify federal gun laws but not Obamacare? What gives? Oh, I know. The second amendment. It’s there. It’s clear as daylight that gun ownership is a right because it was written down and attached to the Constitution. Let me make a connection for you. The ninth amendment was written, passed, and ratified because the founders knew that there was no possible way to write down and include every right that men should enjoy, so they wrote the ninth amendment as a catch-all.

Permit me to explain what you clearly seem not to understand:

It seems a lot of members of the Idaho legislature, indeed many Americans, believe in the misrepresentation that the Supreme Court is the final arbiter of federal law. As the attached document will clearly show, this couldn’t be further from the truth.

The 10th amendment states: “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” This covers all aspects of federal activity including legislation in Congress, Executive Orders, and Judicial activism (i.e., Chief Justice Roberts’ fixing the mandate away from a fine under the commerce clause to a tax under federal taxing authority). In fact, nowhere in the United States Constitution does it say, “unless the Supreme Court says otherwise.” Notice the 10th amendment talks of powers and not rights? Governments do not have rights. They have powers. One power clearly reserved to the states is that of nullification, or interposition, if you prefer. Nullification is not synonymous with secession. It is your responsibility to stand between the people of the state of Idaho and the machinations of the federal government. It is your responsibility to enforce what laws the people of Idaho—not special interests, lobbyists, and the federal government—find acceptable. Unfortunately, you have failed with H248 and S1042.

The first section of the 14th amendment reinforces the state’s ability to render federal law null and void: “… No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws” (emphasis added). As you may know, the 14th amendment was ratified after the conclusion of the Civil War. It should be clear that this first section was written in response to such laws as the Fugitive Slave Acts, a pair of laws about 60 years apart that required northern abolitionist states and their citizens to return runaway slaves to their owners in the south. Make no mistake about it: the Fugitive Slave Act was a law passed by the United States Congress, signed into law by the President and held to be Constitutional by the Supreme Court.

More importantly, prior to the passage of the 13th and 14th amendments, Article IV paragraph 3 stated: “No Person held to Service or Labour in one State, under the Laws thereof, escaping into another, shall, in Consequence of any Law or Regulation therein, be discharged from such Service or Labour, But shall be delivered up on Claim of the Party to whom such Service or Labour may be due.” Because it was written into the Constitution in 1788, it was obviously constitutionally proper and legal for people to be treated as property. It was constitutionally proper and legal for law enforcement to arrest people interfering with slave owners recovering their “property.” Yet, there are many cases of abolitionist states writing legislation that countered, vacated, and nullified those laws. The Idaho House is currently working to do so with federal gun laws, but the whole legislature seems unable to see the corollary with the Health Insurance Exchange and Obamacare. You’re fooling yourself if you think they’re different in any way.

Again, It is your responsibility to stand between the people of the state of Idaho and the machinations of the federal government. It is your responsibility to enforce what laws the people of Idaho—not special interests, lobbyists, and the federal government—find acceptable. Unfortunately, you have failed with H248 and S1042.

For your actions, the state might as well dissolve and permit Washington DC to make all of our decisions for us. That is what you are doing when you pass legislation that will ultimately promote the greatest atrocity this nation has seen since slavery, the Jim Crow laws, and Japanese internment. Obamacare is wrong, and so is the health insurance exchange because when Obamacare is fully implemented next year, it will squash the life out of Idaho’s economy and then it will deny Idahoans their liberty no matter what provisions you think you’ve provided for sovereignty.

For further arguments, I’ve attached a response I wrote two years ago to the position Senate President Pro Tempore Brent Hill, MY SENATOR, took when he torpedoed H0117, a bill that declared Obamacare invalid and unlawful in the state of Idaho. You may and may not recall the bill: It nullified Obamacare in the state of Idaho. It was a good move in the House. More importantly I hear the same arguments in regards to H248, so my response is still germane and valid.

The good news in all of this—if there is any to be had—is that there is a liberty movement now that is picking up momentum. Senator Rand Paul’s filibuster the other day gave it a powerful boost, and every Senator and Representative who is not on board with liberty and founding principles will become irrelevant. So, please reconsider your votes when it comes up on the floor of the house.

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