(Guest Post by Matthew Ladner)
George Will wrote a column today about an effort to protect Arizonans from being forced to buy health insurance or to ban the right to privately purchase medical care by Obamacare.
If Obamacare passes, the people of Arizona may give it the proverbial single finger salute. Other states may as well.
The proposed initiative reads:
No law shall be passed that restricts a person’s freedom of choice of private health care systems or private plans of any type. No law shall interfere with a person’s or entity’s right to pay directly for lawful medical services, nor shall any law impose a penalty or fine, of any type, for choosing to obtain or decline health care coverage or for participation in any particular health care system or plan.
Clint Bolick notes that the federal protection of individual rights have always served as a floor, not a ceiling. If both Obamacare and this language passed, an interesting legal battle would ensue. Money quote from the column:
The court says the constitutional privacy right protects personal “autonomy” regarding “the most intimate and personal choices.” The right was enunciated largely at the behest of liberals eager to establish abortion rights. Liberals may think, but the court has never held, that the privacy right protects only doctor-patient transactions pertaining to abortion. David Rivkin and Lee Casey, Justice Department officials under the Reagan and first Bush administrations, ask: If government cannot proscribe or even “unduly burden” — the court’s formulation — access to abortion, how can government limit other important medical choices?
How indeed? This would all be much better if judges simply rediscovered an ability to read the 9th and 10th Amendments to the Constitution, but if you can’t “unduly burden” abortion how are you supposed to “unduly burden” an individual’s right to pay a heart surgeon or have an appendix removed?
Hopefully the Senate will kill Obamacare, but if not, the fight can be carried on by other means. If some states passed such amendments and other did not, get ready for the second great doctor migration. I had a Canadian doctor growing up in southeast Texas in the 1970s. Any guesses why?