Despite Missouri, Nullification Efforts Failing Across the Country
Health care nullification forces scored a symbolic victory in Missouri yesterday as voters supported a ballot initiative to block the individual mandate portion of the federal health care law. But it was a primary electorate dominated by GOP primary voters-- and the real story is how isolated this victory has been for the repeal forces.
Early in the year, groups like the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) announced that dozens of states were introducing legislation to repeal "Obamacare." Yet aside from a handful of states, they were defeated across the country. 26 states and counting have rejected health care nullification, while even the most right-wing state governments are moving forward on implementing the new law for the benefit of their citizens, as documented at alecfail.com. See the map of failure after the jump.
(States highlighted in blue have enacted health care nullification bills. States highlighted in gray have approved ballot measures attempting to nullify health care which require approval by voters later this year.)
ALEC style bills or proposed constitutional amendments have failed in Alabama,Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas,Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi,Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Rhode Island, South Dakota,Tennessee, West Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.
In Louisiana, Gov. Jindal signed into law a symbolic measure (HB 1474) that specifically states "No provision in this Section shall be interpreted or held to supercede any provision of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010... or any other federal law."
In other states where ALEC has claimed success, such as Montana and Texas, health care nullification bills have yet to even be introduced.
At the same time the right wing is focused on grandstanding and political gamesmanship, legislators and officials in all 50 states are moving forward with the hard work of planning the effective implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act at the state level. Many of these efforts began well before the passing and signing of federal reform, and will accelerate as responsible leaders in the states focus on delivering quality, affordable health care to their constituents.
ALEC and its allies claimed a goal of defeating Obamacare in 26 states where they've been defeated. If they are going to own victory in Missouri, they should own up to defeat in all the other states as well.