FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE JANUARY 23, 2014
Republican leaders looking for an alternative to Obamacare can pause now for an important message from over 200 elected lawmakers across the country: “We have what you’re looking for – it’s up to you to act.”
Promising “to turn a Washington failure into an American success,” hundreds of state legislators are calling on GOP leaders in Congress to give their states the go-ahead to opt-out of Obamacare.
The lawmakers have already passed the Health Care Compact, an interstate agreement that returns funding and control of federal health care programs to the state level – and it gives states the power to opt out of Obamacare.
“In 2010, our states recognized that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act would be neither protective nor affordable. In predicting its failure, we decided to take action and use the tools given to us in the Constitution to form an interstate compact,” the lawmakers write in their letter to Congressional leaders. Eight states have adopted the Health Care Compact.
The lawmakers are passing the baton to Congressional leaders and urging them to move forward. “We now call on you, as the GOP leadership of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, to make the consent of our Health Care Compact your top legislative priority.”
The Compact Clause of the US Constitution gives states the right to form interstate compacts with Congress’ consent. There are now over 200 interstate compacts that move control from the federal government to the states.
“We passed the Health Care Compact in Texas because health care is simply too vast and complicated to be governed from afar in Washington DC with a one-size-fits-all federal policy,” says Texas State Representative Lois Kolkhorst (R- Brenham). “All of us are acutely aware of the troubles created by a federal health care exchange. That’s why it is time to empower the states in the vital area of health care. State lawmakers across the country are ready, willing, and able to serve our constituency with a local solution such as the Health Care Compact. This plan is a sensible and local answer to the problems that so many Americans have experienced with the Affordable Care Act. Now it is up to Congressional leaders to take the next step,” says Rep. Kolkhorst.
“Our health care system should be tailored to fit the needs of the people of Missouri,” said Missouri State Rep. Eric Burlison (R-Greene County). “From what we’ve already seen, it’s clear that won’t happen under Obamacare. Our citizens want a say-so in the policy decisions affecting them, especially when it comes to their health care. We are listening in Jefferson City, and we asking the leadership in Washington to act.”
Under the Health Care Compact the structure of the health care system would vary from state to state. Some states could pursue market-oriented mechanisms, while others could even choose to remain in the federal program, at their option.
Eight states have approved the Health Care Compact: Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, Missouri, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas and Utah.
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The Health Care Compact was developed to offer Americans more influence over decisions that govern health care. The Health Care Compact is a project of Competitive Governance Action, a 501(C)(4) organization committed to educating and advocating for the concept that problems should be solved by the smallest, least centralized, most local authority that may effectively address the matter. Central to the concept is the devolution of political power from the federal government to state and local governments, to individuals and to non-government community and religious institutions.