Obamacare for a new bridge?
Why is Governor Snyder anxious for the Michigan legislature to establish a Michigan Healthcare Exchange under the Patient Protection and Affordable Health Care Act (Obamacare)? Many governors are prepared to wait until after the November election before deciding to establish a Healthcare Exchange for their state. The premature creation of multiple state Exchanges with federal assistance may create legitimacy for part of the law that may be challenged as a violation of rights reserved to the states (Tenth Amendment), or under the McCarran- Ferguson Act that gives the states the authority to regulate the “business of insurance”.
Healthcare experts at the Cato Institute believe creating a number of state Exchanges would entrench Obamacare and make it less likely to be challenged, repealed or amended. Insurance companies selected to participate in the Exchanges and other special interest groups may oppose challenges to their vested interests in the Exchange and the dismantling of the bureaucracy created to manage the Exchanges.
What’s the bridge connection? The governor must engage in “quid pro quo” Chicago style politics with President Obama. Why? Under 33 United States Code, Section 535 B, “No bridge may be constructed, maintained and operated as provided in section 535 of this title (Subchapter IV: International Bridges) until the president has given his approval thereto.”
What will the governor put on the table to secure Obama’s approval? Assurance that Michigan voters will support Obama’s reelection? Maybe, if Obama can campaign in Michigan on his support for the international bridge crossing. You know the mantra Jobs! Jobs! Jobs! Why would a republican governor serve up a favorable campaign issue for Obama’s reelection?
The expansion of the Ambassador Bridge will create jobs, provided its expansion is permitted to continue without obstruction from the Canadian government, the U.S. Federal Highway Administration, the U.S. Coast Guard, and the Department of Homeland Security. (Read the facts alleged in the lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, Case No. 1:2010cv00476). The lawsuit alleges the government obstructionists violated the constitutional, statutory, treaty and contractual rights of the owners and operators of the Ambassador Bridge.
Maybe the governor will assure President Obama that Michigan will opt in to Obamacare’s expanded Medicaid Program at a significant cost to the 51 percent of the Michigan population that pays income taxes to fund medicaid.
The perception is the Governor has a mandate from his political and financial supporters. Build the bridge and complete the Illinois, Indiana and Michigan spur of the Atlantic Corridor of the NAFTA superhighway. What ever it costs, even if fundamental economic facts and evaluations do not support its construction ( “Another Michigan- Ontario Border Crossing: Once Again a Solution in Search of a Problem”, by Gary Wolfram, Ph.D, Prof. of Economics and Public Policy at Hillsdale College); or whatever it takes, even if property rights protected by the constitution, treaty, statute, and contract are destroyed in the process. Whether it is Snyder’s bridge or Obamacare, Michigan taxpayers are the losers.
— Author is a retired International Attorney with degrees in Law (Juris Doctorate) and Science (B.S. Pharm.)