Clint Bolick, the man behind Idaho's Health Freedom Act, told those gathered at an Idaho Freedom Foundation (IFF) event in downtown Boise Wednesday that he'd like to see as many lawsuits against recently-passed federal health care reforms as possible. He said, in an interview with IdahoReporter.com, that he believes at least one of the lawsuits pending against the reforms will end up in the U.S. Supreme Court, if not more. He also believes Republican lawmakers dissatisfied with reforms can use several alternatives to nullify their effects.
Bolick, employed by the Goldwater Institute in Arizona, works as a lawyer for the group and specializes in constitutional litigation. Thanks to Bolick's idea of suing the federal government over the portion of reforms that requires individuals to purchase health insurance as a requirement of citizenship or face fines, Idaho and 19 other states are in the process doing just that. Republican Gov. Butch Otter was the first state chief executive in the county to sign a health freedom act, legislation that has been duplicated in most of the states that are involved with the lawsuits against the feds. Bolick praised the work of Otter and the Idaho Legislature for being on the front lines of the battle. "Idaho is truly leading the nation," Bolick said.
Arizona, Bolick said, is preparing to file another lawsuit against federal health care reforms, but on uniquely different grounds than any of the other previous suits. Instead of filing solely on behalf of the state of Arizona and the citizens within its border, Arizona's suit will be filed on behalf of state lawmakers themselves. That idea is unique to the Arizona lawsuit, Bolick explained. Because of health care reforms, he said, state lawmakers will have legislative decisions normally entrusted to them ripped away and planted into massive federal bureaus and agencies within the executive branch.
The Arizona lawsuit will have two more charges against the feds: injury against the government of the state and invasion of privacy for individual citizens. Bolick said that because of the regulations in the reforms, Arizona's budgetary autonomy is severely limited. Additionally, the suit supposes that reforms thrust invasions of privacy on individuals, who would likely be forced to turn over sensitive medical information to federal bureaucracies.
The important thing, Bolick told IdahoReporter.com, is that as many people and states sue as possible, so many courts across the nation can consider the charges against reform. "The more lawsuit there are, the more likely one of them will end up in the United States Supreme Court," Bolick said. That, he believes, will help put the death knell in reforms. "We hope to subject it to death by a thousand cuts," Bolick explained. If one or more of the challenges does end up in the nation's top court, Bolick said he believes it would likely get there in 2012 or 2013. Most of the sweeping changes of reforms do not take effect until 2014, so if one of the challenges is successful, it could prevent reforms altogether.
If the challenges fail, however, there is another way for reforms to be shut down, Bolick believes. If Republicans are able to regain the House and Senate in upcoming elections, even if it takes until 2012, they could ultimately use the "power of the purse" to starve reforms, Bolick explained. If Republicans are able to capture both chambers of Congress and the presidency in 2012, they could completely repeal reforms before they ever take effect.
(Note: IdahoReporter.com is a product of the Idaho Freedom Foundation.)