Now that Congress has passed the healthcare bill, it’s under attack from all sides.
Twenty-one states have filed lawsuits challenging the constitutionality of the law, and legislation has been introduced or is about to be introduced in 41 states banning key aspects of the measure.
States’ efforts to prohibit the bill from taking effect go back to 2006, when Dr. Eric Novack, an orthopedic surgeon based in Phoenix, realized that some form of national healthcare legislation was a possibility.
Novack worked with conservative groups to craft what is now called the Healthcare Freedom Act.
“The idea is that healthcare decision-making ultimately should be made by patients and families, not from someplace else,” Novack tells Newsmax.
The act provides that, if a healthcare service is legal, “You should always be able to spend your own money to get access to it,” Novack says. “No bureaucrat, public or private, should be able to take that right away from you.”
In addition, “You should always have the choice not to participate in any healthcare system or plan without a penalty,” says Novack, who heads Arizonans for Healthcare Freedom. “In other words, no mandates of any kind, because it’s not what you get when they say they are giving you insurance.”
Already, Utah, Idaho, and Virginia have passed some aspect of legislation undercutting the national healthcare law.
Besides these efforts, state attorneys general and private groups are filing suits challenging the law’s constitutionality. The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons became the first medical society to sue to overturn it.
If the law goes unchallenged, it “spells the end of freedom in medicine as we know it,” says Dr. Jane Orient, executive director of the organization. “Courts should not allow this massive intrusion into the practice of medicine and the rights of patients.”
States’ rights also are at stake.
“What is driving these efforts by states is an absolutely legitimate desire to reassert state sovereignty under our constitutional form of government,” says Ken Klukowski, a legal expert who consults for major conservative groups. “That one of the safeguards bestowed upon us by our founders was to limit the scope of the national government and in most matters to leave the states sovereign to decide their own affairs with locally elected officials that would be more responsive to the voters.”
Klukowski and former Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell have written “The Blueprint: Obama’s Plan to Subvert the Constitution and Build an Imperial Presidency,”
a book challenging the healthcare law, to be published on April 27. The book carries blurbs endorsing it by former Attorney General Ed Meese, Steve Forbes of Forbes Media; and Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council.
Klukowski believes the Supreme Court could overturn the act “consistent with even the liberal expansive precedents that give a very broad reading to the Constitution’s commerce clause power over the past 70 years.”
Although the commerce clause gives Congress the power to regulate commerce, it does not specifically give Congress the power to regulate if Congress imposes healthcare on citizens.
“There is a huge difference between regulating action versus regulating inaction,” says Klukowski, who promises to reveal in the book novel additional ways to challenge the law.
Beyond the legal challenges and legislative bans, Republican congressional leaders have vowed to repeal or stop funding of the healthcare law if the GOP takes back control of Congress after the November elections.
Ronald Kessler is chief Washington correspondent of Newsmax.com. View his previous reports and get his dispatches sent to you free via e-mail. Go here now.
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