Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi spent the weekend telling Democrats to hurry up and get the job done — i.e., end the legislative agony by passing Obamacare (even though polls show that a solid majority of the American people oppose it). Obama argued, "This is why I got into politics."
But the congressional votes to pass Obamacare will not make the issue go away. It will stick around to plague the Democrats not only through the 2010 elections but for the rest of Obama's administration.
The American people have figured out that the issue is not health care, it's freedom. It's whether Obama will succeed in "fundamentally transforming" the American nation, the first leg of which is to put complete control over every individual's health into the hands of government bureaucrats and their appointed "experts."
Opposition to this Obamanation is manifesting itself not only in Tea Parties, Town Hall Meetings, a tsunami of phone calls to the U.S. Capitol and spontaneous demonstrations in unprecedented numbers. The revolt against Obamacare is also resonating in state capitols all over the country.
Virginia was the first state legislature to pass a Freedom of Choice in Health Care Act to protect Virginians' right to make their own health care and health insurance choices, to pay directly for medical care and to prohibit any individual or employer from being penalized for not buying government-defined health insurance. When Virginia's House of Delegates voted 80 to 17, 21 Democrats sided with the GOP.
Idaho had the first state governor sign a Freedom of Choice in Health Care law. The Arizona Legislature has placed the Health Care Freedom Act as a proposed constitutional amendment on Arizona's 2010 election ballot.
Three states have passed a Freedom of Choice bill in one House. Similar measures are under consideration in more than 35 states.
Oklahoma passed a law to allow its citizens to opt out of Obamacare. Utah passed three resolutions, one of which asserts the "inviolable sovereignty of the State of Utah under the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution."
Virginia's Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, South Carolina's Attorney General Henry McMaster and Florida's Attorney General Bill McCollum are gearing up to sue the federal government. They say the bill is unconstitutional because it requires all Americans to purchase health insurance.
McMaster said, "It's essentially a direct tax on the people. ... There's no authority in the Constitution that allows the Congress to do that."
The New York Times reluctantly admitted that these state laws and constitutional amendments are "on a roll." The Times is worried — it's not sure whether they constitute a movement or a backlash or just political theater.
Many people look upon Massachusetts as the model for Obamacare. That state imposed individual and employer mandates in 2006, and it's time to look at the results.
By 2010, one-third of the uninsured still don't have coverage, and it's become harder to see a doctor. Health insurance is 40 percent more expensive than in the rest of the country, and Massachusetts is expecting a $2 billion to $4 billion shortfall over the next decade.
Obama says repeatedly that under his plan you can keep your present health insurance. But Massachusetts told 20 percent of its already insured citizens they had to buy more expensive health insurance because their existing coverage wasn't "good enough."
Remember, if the government can force us to buy health insurance, it can define what that insurance must cover. It's estimated that a federal mandate would force 100 million Americans to drop their existing plans and buy more expensive health insurance to meet Obamacare requirements.
Now that state legislatures are flexing their state sovereignty muscles, some are tackling other issues, too. Montana, South Dakota, Wyoming, Tennessee and Utah enacted laws declaring that federal regulation of guns is invalid if a weapon is made and used only within the state. Rhode Island, Vermont and Wisconsin passed bills to reaffirm their state's authority over the National Guard.
Opponents of these state sovereignty laws claim they are unconstitutional because the Constitution's Article VI states that federal law prevails over state law. Supporters of state sovereignty laws respond by asserting the Tenth Amendment.
Texas opted out of Obama's pot of $4.35 billion "Race to the Top" (a.k.a. Race to the Takeover) grants to states that accept federal control of public school curriculum and standards, and Rick Perry just won an unexpected landslide in a gubernatorial primary by warning Washington, "Don't mess with Texas!"
Obamacare is a major weapon to carry out Obama's plan to transform America into a country of incredible debt, government control of industries, redistribution of taxpayers' earnings and savings to non-taxpayers, and massive authority exercised by weirdo czars. The American people — and the various states — are not going to accept Obama's transformation.
Phyllis Schlafly is a lawyer, conservative political analyst and the author of the newly revised and expanded "Supremacists." She can be contacted by e-mail at [email protected] To find out more about Phyllis Schlafly and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Website at www.creators.com.