Friday, March 19, 2010

More on Health Care

While we're on the topic of health care federalism, we are so proud of the great state of Idaho, which has now actually passed the Idaho Meaningless Political Grandstanding Act -- pardon me, the Idaho Health Freedom Act, which, among other things, provides that "the public policy of the state of Idaho, . . . is that every person within the state of Idaho is and shall be free to choose or decline to choose any mode of securing health care services without penalty or threat of penalty by the federal government of the United States of America."

As I explained yesterday, this law will have no impact on the validity of a federal health care mandate. Such a mandate might be valid or invalid, but it won't matter what any state's law says.

What's particularly cute about the Idaho law is that only covers federal penalties. In fact, the statute even defines "penalty" as something imposed by the United States. So I guess Idaho thinks it's fine for the state to push people around with regard to health care choices. Which is not a wholly indefensible position from a federalism perspective, but is somewhat bizarre if one thinks the issue is really about personal freedom.

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