When battling the enormous monster that our federal government has become, Tea Party and liberty groups are always looking for the next way to push back the federal government.Â Some of these may work and others won’t.Â The latest idea to surface and being touted as a type of nullification is interstate compacts, found in Article 1, Section 10 of the U.S. Constitution.
While it’s possible to form well defined limited interstate compacts with specific goals, interstate compacts can also be dangerous to liberty and we must answer several questions before jumping on the bandwagon of interstate compacts as a solution to federal tyranny.
ObamaCare is the primary reason that many tea parties want to form and interstate compact.Â It’s an admirable goal, but can it be done and are we jumping from the frying pan into the fire?
What Exactly Are We Trying to Stop and How Far Do You Want to Go Back to the Origin of the Problem?
The federal government’s control of health care and insurance goes back much further than ObamaCare.Â There were approximately 133,000 pages of regulations in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) regulating health care and health insurance prior to ObamaCare.Â That’s not exactly a hands-off, free market approach to health care and insurance.Â Constitutionally, only Congress is vested with law making authority, making all these regulations made by bureaucrats unconstitutional.Â Congress could make these regulations law, by voting on them, but it canâ€™t give itâ€™s vested law making authority to unelected bureaucrats.
Medicare and Medicaid are not constitutional, and letâ€™s be honest here.Â Some opposed to ObamaCare were primarily opposed because it would reduce their Medicare, which is government controlled health care.Â The principle of government controlled health care being unconstitutional wasnâ€™t as important to those believing theyâ€™re entitled to expensive Medicare coverage.Â Does anyone rationally believe that someone that paid $10,000 into the Medicare program over the course of their working life is entitled to $250,000 worth of health care coverage, most of which is paid for by others?
Before anyone starts accusing me of supporting death panels, let me clearly state that I am completely opposed to any level of government rationing of health care, but I am also opposed to having to pay enormous sums of money for others health care because they believe they are entitled to much more than what they paid in.Â You only have the right to the health care that you can afford and/or that which others voluntarily provide for you.Â Continuing to pay for the high cost of health care for those who paid a limited amount into a entitlement system is unsustainable and most know that deep down, but very few railing against our countries enormous debt are willing to be intellectually honest about this.
The health care compact as it is written does not strike at the roots of our current federal health care entitlement system problem by repealing Medicare and Medicaid, or even phasing them out.Â Instead it leaves those unconstitutional systems in place and only addresses the recent expansion of ObamaCare.Â If we leave Medicare and Medicaid to the federal government, but ObamaCare to the States, what kind of health care system will we be creating?Â Will the federal government be able to nullify the efforts of the interstate compact, by continually expanding Medicare and Medicaid regulations and entitlements?Â If so, how much impact will an interstate compact have if the federal government is still controlling these programs?Â Further the compact does not address the fact that these federal entitlement programs are simply not financially sustainable.
Furthermore, medical care is not “commerce” for constitutional purposes. The original meaning of “commerce” is trade in tangible commodities, not services. Wouldnâ€™t it be better for Tennessee to stand by its sovereignty resolution, passed in 2009, rather than asking the federal government for permission to do what is already rightfully protected by the Ninth and Tenth Amendments?Â States should pass resolutions instructing the federal government to repeal ObamaCare, the 133,000 pages of regulations and phase out programs for those that want to opt out of Medicare and Medicaid, putting the ultimate power of choice back in the individual, where it rightfully belongs.
What’s Intrastate About Forming an Interstate Compact So That Tennessee Can Regulate Its Own Health Care?
If the goal of an interstate compact is so that a state can regulate its own internal health care and insurance matters, then what exactly is interstate about that?Â The U.S. Constitution is clear that Tennessee doesnâ€™t need the permission of the federal government and it certainly doesn’t need the permission of any other state to provide standards for health care within the State.Â This is intrastate commerce and no interstate compact is needed for this.
This raises more questions.Â Section 3 of the compact states “Legislative Power. The legislatures of the member states have the primary responsibility to regulate health care in their respective states.”Â The states have the primary power, but who else has power?Â The advisory commission?Â Is the advisory commission likely to morph into something more than just an “advisory” role?Â If the compact is amended, could the role of this “advisory board” be expanded, making it an even more oppressive entity than the federal government ever dared to be?
Tennessee was one of the first States to pass a Tenth Amendment sovereignty resolution, yet interstate compact proponents are advocating that we ask the feds for permission to regulate our own internal affairs in a matter that the federal government has no constitutional authority to regulate in the first place and even worse weâ€™d have to build a tangled web with other states to do it.
If the health care compact puts the power back in the States, then do you want your State government regulating or limiting your health care service options?Â I donâ€™t.Â Fraud laws and contract obligations are important for States to enforce, but the State should not interfere with the health care choices that I make.Â Health care and insurance are good and services, not rights or privileges to which we are entitled.Â The government cannot guarantee quality health care to all of us.
The Golden Rule: He Who Controls the Gold Makes the Rules.
Thatâ€™s not exactly the concept of universal brotherhood of doing unto others as youâ€™d have them do unto you, but this golden rule applies here.Â Interstate compacts donâ€™t have taxing authority per se, which means the State will have the feds to administer the funds to them through federal grants.Â How much control do you think the States will have if the federal government writes and administers the grants?
Keep in mind that Congress has unconstitutionally authorized the thugs errâ€¦ agents at the IRS to collect fines for the individual mandate.Â Would the compact stop the IRS?Â What if the IRS started harassing people for not complying with ObamaCare, while the compact is in place?Â Then what?Â How do the States stop the IRS from harassing their citizens?Â How many people or States win cases against the IRS in Courts run and controlled by Federal officials?
Taking it a step further, the compact declares that each state has a right to federal funds without any strings or mandates from the federal government.Â While this sounds good on the surface, it doesn’t do anything to wean the state from the federal teat.Â As long as Tennessee is suckling from the federal teat, whether it be for health care or any other issue, it will never be free from federal tyranny.
Passing an Interstate Compact
An interstate compact has to be approved by Congress, per Article 1, Section 10 of the U.S. Constitution.Â While the recent elections provided a House that would likely approve repeal, the Senate still has a majority of Senators that supported ObamaCare.Â Proponents of an interstate compact has acquiesced to the fact that the current Senate will not pass such a compact and that weâ€™ll have to wait until we get a Senate supportive of the idea, but when we have such a Senate we should push for repeal of ObamaCare, not for a interstate compact that could implement all or part of it at the State level.
Interstate Compacts Are Being Used Against Our Freedom.
The Drivers License Compact is a good example of a compact that is repugnant to freedom and liberty.Â It is based on States governments erroneously treating the personal fundamental right of people to travel by the mode of their choice as a State regulated privilege.Â All but 4 states are members of this compact that exchanges information concerning license suspensions and traffic violations of non-residents and forward them to the state where they are licensed known as the home state.
Like many government programs it started with dangerous driving violations such as drunk driving, reckless driving, commission of a felony involving a motor vehicle and others, but eventually expanded to minor violations.Â Governments rarely resist expanding.Â Perhaps the worst aspect is that this compact is expanding into a global agreement where out of country violations, primarily in Canada, are being reported and counted against your driving record.Â It will probably be superseded by the Drivers License Agreement, which expands the global agreement into other countries that do not comply with the Drivers Privacy Protection Act and may not afford due process protection for alleged violations.
Simply put, the Drivers License Compact is an example of a state compact that has become a nightmare for we the people.
What Can Interstate Compacts Be Used For?
Using interstate compacts for nullification will be difficult for the reasons that I raised.Â It may be possible to form compacts limited to a single or a few aspects of health care or insurance just as states agreeing to let citizens reach across State lines to purchase health insurance.Â However, this could also be difficult to achieve because many states legislators are quite proud of the regulations they place on insurance companies.Â States have the opportunity to pull licenses of insurance companies when they donâ€™t comply with State laws and donâ€™t provide the coverage they promise to provide.Â Itâ€™s also more difficult to sue out-of-state insurance companies for coverage agreement breaches.
Nullification and Repeal First
A poorly formed interstate compact would not nullify federal government usurpation; it would replace it at the State level.Â At worst it would bring the problem a little closer to home and possibly tangle us in a web we donâ€™t wish to weave with other states.Â At best, it might slow the Federal government down.Â Nullification and complete repeal of ObamaCare and other Federal unconstitutional usurpations should be our top priorities in pushing back the Federal government.Â If we arenâ€™t successful in repealing unconstitutional laws and nullification doesnâ€™t bring the desired results, then interstate compacts could be considered for specific limited issue problems, only after we address all the potential problems compacts can create.
Ultimately it all comes down to one simple fact.Â Tennessee doesn’t need the permission of Congress, the Supreme Court, or other states in order to exert its constitutional rights.Â The Tenth Amendment guarantees Tennessee the power over all areas that are not specifically enumerated in that document.Â All Tennessee has to do is have the courage to step up and say NO!