July 29 2010
In a New York Times article yesterday, Democrats criticized the Texas state government for being antagonistic and inconsistent. The remarks come at a time when state leaders are faced with the tough task of implementing Obamacare - a federal reform that is costly and unpopular.
How can they expect anything other than antagonism when 60% of Texans oppose Obama's health care reform, and only 28% approve? And these numbers are not far off from national statistics. Like a lot of conservative-leaning states, Texas faces a particular challenge. Without the power to repeal and replace Obamacare with a more cost-effective, efficient reform, the state must comply with federal law.
At the same time all of this is happening, Arizona is in trouble for "preempting" the law of the land. And indeed - the constitution is supreme. In our federalist system, the national government takes precedence in certain roles. But this role - the provision of health care - is not defined in the constitution as a function of the state government or the federal government. Maybe that's because our founding fathers left it to the individual to seek insurance and care according to his or her own needs.
I think Texas would agree with me, and that puts the state in a tough spot. On one side, the Republican leadership in the state must prepare to follow the federal law, but on the other side, Texas (along with 20 other states) is part of a lawsuit questioning the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
Yesterday an injunction was issued against the Arizona law. But no such injunction will stop Obamacare.