At the Pachyderm Club’s national convention last year, I overheard a Republican Missouri State Representative talking about HB 609. “It was the best bill I’ve ever been involved with,” she said. “Those people who just went nuts don’t know anything about insurance.”
If you read my blog, you’re likely one of the “those people,” the ignorant masses who don’t understand the fineries of the legislative process. You don’t appreciate how hard the insurance industry lobbyists worked with Jefferson City to craft a law that sold only a bit of you into slavery while ensuring the insurance companies remained profitable and your favorite Republican legislators had the money to campaign next year.
In 2011, the all-Republican Missouri legislature tried to give Obamacare a head start by creating a “mandated” health insurance exchange. Some popular Republican legislators were horrified that conservatives opposed the bill. A handful of courageous state senators, led by Jane Cunningham, blocked the legislation.
Now that John Roberts has blessed Obamacare, Missouri legislators will show renewed interest in creating the exchanges. Supporters of the exchanges will talk about the “mandate.” They will say “law of the land” and “getting the best deal possible” and “we’re looking our for Missourians.”
They can blow out their gavels.
Any Republican who believes in federalism, who believes in the 9th and 10th Amendments, who believes the United States retains some sense of the plural, will stand his ground now, here. This is a hill worth dying on.
Any Republican who talks about cutting deals is a Republican who can find a new state to live in. Politicians use the federal government to force upon their state a system rejected overwhelmingly by the people of their state; Statesmen stand and deliver.
Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal will not capitulate:
"We're not expanding Medicaid. We're not implementing the health exchange. Instead we're going to do everything we can to elect Mitt Romney to repeal this bad law and replace it," he told Fox News. [emphasis added]
That’s the defiance we want from Missouri Republicans. We want to see some spine in the House. We want to see more of the courage we see in Jim Lembke, Brian Nieves, Brad Lager, Jason Crowell, Will Kraus, and Jane Cunningham. (I apologize if I missed any State Senators who consistently fight for liberty and state sovereignty when there’s “better deals” to be made for themselves.)
What’s at stake is not a business deal—it’s about the existence of this republic. To reduce the issue of state sovereignty to a question of dollars and sense or “best deals” is to profane our divine inheritance. Some of us refuse to squander our God-given liberty. We won’t cut deals. Our state office holders either rise to the occasion and join this fight for Missouri, or they will share John Roberts’s eternal shame.
The days of playing parlor games are over. It’s time for defiance, resistance, and resolve.