As Art Thompson discussed in the Foreword to the September 2012 JBS Bulletin, we are asking JBS members and our allies to reinvigorate our Stop ObamaCare campaign in their local areas in order to educate their neighbors and opinion molders, and then activate them into local groups to help stop any form of government healthcare.
The John Birch Society never did accept the notion that ObamaCare would be stopped by the courts. Our May 2011 pamphlet, “Healthcare Solutions: Fixing ObamaCare Constitutionally," recommended only three approaches to stopping ObamaCare: Repeal, Nullify, and Defund. Let’s review where we are on these three approaches.
Congressional repeal of the entire ObamaCare law with replacement by nothing would be the best solution. However, it’s well known that the House is willing, but the Senate isn’t. In fact, the House voted by a large margin mostly along party lines to repeal ObamaCare back in January 2011, and did so once again on July 11, 2012. However, the Senate is not even willing to vote on repeal. And, of course, President Obama would veto a repeal bill anyway. Still, lest we think that Republican capture of the Senate and the Presidency would settle this matter once and for all, there is the troubling way that too many Republicans have of saying, “Let’s repeal and replace ObamaCare.” So, even if the Republicans gain control of both the legislative and executive branches, we could still end up with a new Republican-sponsored ObamaCare-lite government healthcare program.
As for the defunding approach, the Republican leadership in the House has decided against any such strategy for the rest of this congressional session because they don’t want to have any showdowns with the Democrats over a government shutdown.
That leaves nullification. Please continue to press forward on nullification of ObamaCare in your state. Start working with your state legislators now to preset the dials for successful nullification bills in 2013.
And, there’s been some good news on the nullification front during the past few months. Back on April 19 the Missouri House passed an excellent ObamaCare nullification bill, HB1534, by 108-44. Not only does this bill nullify the entire ObamaCare law (not just the mandate), but it includes criminal penalties for federal officials who would attempt to enforce ObamaCare in Missouri. Unfortunately, the legislative session ended before the full Senate voted on the bill, but not before two Senate committees held hearings in May and reported the bill out of committee as “Do Pass.”
ObamaCare nullification bills were also introduced this year in Arizona and New Jersey. Like the Missouri bill, these bills would also nullify the entire ObamaCare law and include criminal penalties for enforcing the healthcare law.
However, the most encouraging prospect for nullification in 2013 is Oklahoma. In a few months State Representative Mike Ritze, who is also a physician, will be reintroducing his 2011 ObamaCare nullification bill, HB1276, in the 2013 Oklahoma legislature. As with the Missouri, New Jersey, and Arizona bills, Ritze’s bill would nullify the entire ObamaCare law as well as having “teeth.” The prospect is encouraging because Oklahoma has been leading the way in recent years with Tenth Amendment legislation, and according to Ritze, “We’re looking at possibly adding three to six constitutionalists in the Oklahoma State Legislature” in this November’s elections.
So, there you have it. Repeal, Nullify, and Defund are all three important tools for stopping ObamaCare; however, we can’t afford to do nothing until a few months or more into the 2013 congressional session to see if the “repeal” tool will work. We need to work with the “nullify” tool now, and get as far as we can with state legislators to introduce and pass nullification bills early in 2013. The more success we have with ObamaCare nullification bills in state legislatures in the coming months, the better the chances for repealing without replacing will be in the 2013 congressional session.
Work with your state legislators to get ObamaCare nullification bills pre-filed in late 2012 for early introduction in the 2013 legislative session. Help find a chief sponsor and cosponsors, then after introduction, work to get grassroots support for passage. Click here to send a message to your state representative(s) and senator urging them to introduce and pass an ObamaCare nullification bill in your state.
Go to our “Choose Freedom — Stop ObamaCare” action page on JBS.org for our campaign tools, including a “Model State ObamaCare Nullification Act.” You can also go directly to the legislative sites for the states mentioned above and download the texts of their nullification bills for use with your state legislators.