By Shelli Dawdy
Please share this with anyone you know who does not want the health care law implemented. While this article has been written from a Nebraska perspective, the basic facts and information are applicable everywhere.
Few Americans are aware that the health care law was written to be implemented step by step by the States.
An Associated Press story, published in many newspapers Saturday and Sunday, January 22 and 23, including in the Lincoln Journal Star, was the most straightforward article on the subject to be widely distributed to date.
“Health Care overhaul debate now shifts to the states”
The opening lines from the story really say it all, so it’s important to read them carefully:
Republican state legislators and governors are working on how to deliver coverage to more than 30 million people now uninsured, as the law calls for, even as GOP attorneys general lead the legal battle to overturn the law’s mandate that most Americans have health insurance.”
While the rest of the AP story requires a number of clarifications and even a few corrections, those opening paragraphs are indeed accurate. If the American people do not become aware of some basic facts, particularly regarding their State’s role in implementing the law, it will be implemented. State officials are very likely silently hoping people don’t figure out the details. While most Americans are looking the other way, state legislators, bureaucrats, and governors have already taken steps to implement the law.
I believe it’s a relevant question to ask: Does the status of the health care law as described in the AP article sound like it fits the narrative told by national media or crafted by elected officials and the Republican Party in your state?
I know it does not fit the one that has been woven here in Nebraska over the past year. Had I not been researching and monitoring developments, I would have believed the following mythology:
Health care is national issue, it is being imposed upon the States by the Federal government, and, therefore, implemented by the Federal government. The story has been told as follows…We are just sitting ducks and our State officials can’t do anything to stop it. Blocking the Federal government’s imposition requires Federal level solutions which are limited to the Federal court system ruling on the multi-state Attorneys General lawsuit challenging the individual mandate, but, particularly, the final answer lies in a repeal by Congress.
Implementation of the health care law in Nebraska means the difference between being able to fund education or bankrupting our state’s Medicaid program. Because of this choice, our Governor committed to do everything he could to fight implementation of the law. Late this summer, Nebraska’s Governor Heineman held a press conference to explain a study he’d commissioned, documenting exploding costs that will be incurred by the State’s Medicaid program under the health reform law. He then called upon Nebraska’s teachers to disavow the reform, and urged the State Board of Education to pass a resolution condemning the health care law. For a couple of weeks, there was a flurry of media appearances and stories. Sparring occurred between the Governor and Senator Ben Nelson, the Governor and the teacher’s unions, and local news cameras even followed Board of Ed. member Robert Evnen into a meeting to watch the drama unfold.
The Republican Party of Nebraska made clear to county and state convention delegates and later, to voters, that voting Republican would mean the health care law would be stopped. What was made very clear was that stopping the health care law’s implementation particularly required the re-election of the state’s three incumbent Congressmen; Jeff Fortenberry, Lee Terry, and Adrian Smith, who would vote for repeal. Further, re-electing the State Attorney General, Jon Bruning, was critical so he could continue working on the multi-state lawsuit, which he had “led”.
These myths can be debunked, one at a time, with basic facts.
I am listing the facts here and, for the next week, I will be releasing articles that explain and provide evidence for each one.
- Fact #1: Participation by the States in the Federal health care reform plan is OPTIONAL / VOLUNTARY. There are actually two opt-outs available.
- Fact #2: The health care law is not a purely Federal program; because it is an optional program, States may participate in it or not. BUT States are responsible for the overall implementation.
- Fact #3: Absent some extremely rare exception being granted by the U.S. Supreme Court, the multi-state lawsuits challenging the constitutionality of the health care law will take two to four years to work their way through the court system.
- Fact #4: Congressional repeal is not a realistic possibility until 2013.
- Fact #5: The health care law’s implementation actually began before the health care law was even passed, due to little known provisions in the February 2009 Stimulus bill. Implementation and preparedness has been underway since the health reform bill passed, particularly since this past summer, and will continue in stages until the final “brick” falls into place in 2014.
- Fact #6: Because implementation is already underway, the Attorneys General lawsuit, even if successful, and a 2013 Congressional repeal will come too late to unravel the many fundamental changes to our health care system that will have already have taken place.
- Fact #7: Legislation introduced by State Senators (or Representatives in all other states) that either purports to nullify the law or tackle single issues or elements within it WILL NOT STOP THE LAW’S IMPLEMENTATION.
- Fact #8: Health care’s opt-out clauses provide an opportunity to truly reform health care within the States, the right way.
- Fact #9: In order to prevent the health care law from being implemented, a truly significant number of citizens who grasp all of the problems would have to be willing to work hard over a sustained period of time.
- Fact #10: Stopping the health care law’s implementation requires a focus on State governments and, therefore, a shift away from focusing on Washington, D.C.
Shelli Dawdy is first and foremost the mother of three children whom she has taught at home via the classical method since removing her children from school in 2001. During her early years as a homeschool mother, she worked part-time as a freelance writer. Born and raised in the Iowa, Shelli and her husband moved to the state of South Dakota in 1997, attracted to its more limited government and friendly tax environment. In 2006, Shelli and her family relocated to Lincoln, Nebraska, when her husband’s employer offered a new position. She took a break from work and politics for a time, recognizing the need to focus solely on her childrens’ schooling with two now of high school age. Distressed by many things she was witnessing on the national political scene and disillusioned about the Republican Party, she decided to start writing again, this time online. Motivated to get involved with others at the grassroots level, she networked with activists on the social media tool, Twitter. She was involved in organizing the first tea party rallies inspired by Rick Santelli’s “rant” on CNBC in February 2009. Recognizing that activism should generate on the local level, she founded Grassroots in Nebraska in March of 2009. The group’s mission is a return to Constitutional, limited government, according to its original meaning. While the group has held several tea party rallies, it’s focus is to take effective action. Among its many projects, GiN successfully coordinated testimony for the hearing of the Nebraska Sovereignty Resolution, networked with other groups to ensure a large show of public support at the hearing, and coordinated follow up support to ensure its passage in April 2010. While working to build up GiN throughout 2009, she was asked to work as writer and producer of the documentary film, A New America, which lays out how Progressivism is responsible for how America has moved away from its Constitutional roots. You can see more of her work on Grassroots in Nebraska (GiN) and StubbornFacts