Rhode Island May Challenge Obamacare in Court


According to sources, Rhode Island may follow Kentucky’s lead in legally challenging Obamacare in court. It would be a good strategy for Rhode Island because both state governors bypassed legislators in order to set up Obamacare exchanges by executive order, violating their own state constitution.

Rhode_Island_state_house_2009aTea Party activist David Adams filed a lawsuit in early April challenging the creation of the Kentucky Health Benefits Exchange and seeks to shut it down.  Governor Steve Beshear had approved the formation of the exchange by executive order, bypassing the state’s legislative system.

Adams’ lawsuit seeks to prevent Beshear’s continued, undemocratic and illegal implementation of the program.  The suit moved to the state Supreme Court in September.  Despite Beshear disregard for law and the legislative process he has been reluctant to comment on the case. A spokesperson insists that the state’s Constitution granted Beshear the authority to create a new, taxing authority without legislative approval, and that Obamacare is the “law of the land.”  Beshear, however, is preparing to retire in 2015 and hasn’t faced reelection since 2011.

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Kentucky is one of 17 states approved to build and run its own healthcare exchanges, and the state received $252 million from the federal government to help set up the exchange.  Kentucky will be responsible for all funding beginning in 2015.  Kentucky currently has a strong Democrat majority in its House of Representatives and a strong Republican majority in its Senate.

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I asked David Adams, “How is this affecting the state financially? Will these exchanges increase taxes for the middle class?”

“It’s horrible anyway you look at it,” said Adams.

“If the supreme court doesn’t resolve this and doesn’t require the governor to follow the law and shut this thing down, then when legislation goes back into session then they will have to come up with the budget for the next  two fiscal years. At the end of the 2014 calendar year they will have to come up with all money to run the exchange. There is no likelihood that the Republicans that run the senate and the democrats that run the house will come to an agreement on creating a new funding mechanism and create a new Obamacare tax” said Adams.

Tea Party activist have a good strategy in Kentucky for fighting against Obamacare by holding their elected officials accountable and ensure that they uphold their oath to the Constitution.

Will other states follow Kentucky’s lead?

Though both the Rhode Island House and Senate are strongly dominated by Republicans, its governor, Lincoln Chaffee, also elected to establish its exchange by executive order.  Chaffee, too, has announced that he would not seek reelection as governor in 2014, though he only assumed office in 2011.

Other states created their exchanges by executive order, too.  New York followed Rhode Island’s lead in taking this route, and Ohio’s Republican governor announced on October 9 that he may adopt Obamacare via executive order.  Minnesota’s governor also created his state’s exchange by executive order.  These states could face similar lawsuits as the full implementation of Obamacare moves forward.

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