One year ago, President Obama signed “Obamacare” into law, the greatest expansion of federal involvement in medicine since the creation of Medicaid and Medicare and one of the greatest intrusions into individual liberty our country has seen. A majority of Americans opposed it when it passed and a year later a majority of Americans want it repealed.
Now we learn that even one of the law’s staunchest supporters and apparent co-author is running from the law. Representative Anthony Weiner, a Democrat who proclaimed last September that he “wrote the bill, the bill and I are one,” is now looking for ways to get his hometown of New York City out from under the new mandates. He joins a burgeoning number of unions and businesses who have already sought waivers from the law.
Representative Weiner explained that he wants New York to seek a waiver because he is “just looking internally to whether the city can save money and have more control over its own destiny.” Indeed, control over our own destiny is precisely why more than two dozen lawsuits have been filed around the country challenging the constitutionality of the law. The Goldwater Institute’s lawsuit challenges the law on behalf of a small businessman from Tempe, Nick Coons, who wants to make his own health care decisions, not be forced into purchasing government-approved health insurance.
The Goldwater Institute reported last fall that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services granted one-year waivers from compliance with Obamacare to 30 unions, businesses, and insurance companies. These groups sought waivers because the mandates within the new law would result in higher premiums for employees, or worse yet, a complete loss of their coverage. Now, just six months later, the number of waivers granted to unions and businesses has soared past 1,000, with waivers being granted to five states, including Arizona.
If the law is not good enough for “the goose,” certainly it is not good enough for the rest of Americans.
The Goldwater Institute’s lawsuit is currently pending in federal court in Phoenix. You can read more about Coons v. Geithner here.
Diane Cohen is a senior attorney with the Goldwater Institute’s Scharf-Norton Center for Constitutional Litigation.
Goldwater Institute: Employers need federal waivers to keep health insurance that works