by Tom Stark, 06/20/2012
As most of you are aware, the Supreme Court will probably rule on the constitutionality of The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (aka, Obamacare). Few of you probably realize that other actions are taking place in individual states that, are not only mandated by Obamacare, but are creating opportunities for abortions to be subsidized by taxpayers, as well.
These activities are perfect examples of what happens when federal dollars are dangled in the face of state officials who are so desperate for sources of funding for overblown state budgets that in some cases they will even defy their states’ constitutional separation of powers to implement federal programs.
Specifically, as noted on Townhall.com, Casey Mattox describes how Governor Chaffee ofRhode Island has taken it upon himself to curry favor with the Obama administration by initiating a plan to create a state insurance exchange that would provide federally subsidized insurance for low income families under the provisions of Obamacare.
The Rhode Island legislature made an excellent attempt at legally creating such an insurance exchange for their state which included very strong provisions that ensured that taxpayer funding would not pay for elective abortions. The Senate passed the bill, but time ran out on the legislative session before the House could complete its work. Since there is adequate time for the House to revisit and pass the Senate bill – the insurance exchanges demanded by Obamacare do not have to be in place beforeJanuary 1, 2014– there was no reason for the Governor to circumvent the legislature and begin that process without the taxpayer protections against elective abortions…or was there?
Perhaps there were $58 million reasons – plus a dash of political ideology thrown in – that made Governor Chaffee cave to the federal demands. That’s the amount of the payment Rhode Island received in “seed money” and consultants fees for use in establishment of the state insurance exchange.
It is important to note that whenever the federal government establishes mandates for states to participate in pet programs, there is always money dangled like a carrot in front of the states. Unfortunately, nine times out of ten (figuratively speaking) the money is only provided at the beginning – as in this case – but is reduced in future years where the states must come up with the revenue to continue funding programs that, once implemented, are considered impossible to rescind since the people have, by that time, become used to the government providing this service or that.
The end result is that states become so dependent on these federal handouts that they become addicted to the money. West Virginiais a prime example. The largesse of Senator Byrd is famous across the state. He was called the “King of Pork.” He bragged about the fact that he made sure that more money came back toWest Virginiafrom the federal government than all the taxes collected fromWest Virginiaon the same basis.
But there is a further twist to this story and it takes place right here inWest Virginia.
Our allegedly conservative legislature and governor have also taken it upon themselves to start establishing an Obamacare –mandated insurance exchange right here at home. In the process of doing so, our leaders have, again, succumb to the lure of federal money at the expense of long-standing principles of upright conduct and fair dealing with the citizens of this state. Nowhere in this process are there protections against taxpayer-paid abortions.
I would suggest that those who reside within our borders contact their representatives, and ask pointed questions regarding howWest Virginiataxpayers are being insulated from paying for elective abortion. They will not be able to answer your question.
While you are at it, you might also ask howWest Virginiaintends to continue providing even essential services to its citizens when the financial crisis inWashingtonresults in program cuts that take away much of the 55% of the state budget currently provided byWashington.
Yes, over half our state’s entire operating budget is paid for through federal funding and every one of those federal subsidies are coming to the state with many complicated strings attached. Our state has literally become a puppet of the federal government instead of a sovereign member of theUnion. Is it any wonder our legislature does Washington’s bidding when called upon?
Mattox sums it up quite well at the close of his article:
“And those concerned about the potential for abortion subsidies in Obamacare should rightfully be concerned that this is yet another example of how those friendly to abortion funding in the state and federal governments will ignore legal constraints if it helps them to prevent obstacles to taxpayer funding for elective abortions.”
And that’s the bottom line here, folks!
About Tom Stark
Tom Stark began writing for the Engage Family Minute blog in February 2012. As a small business owner Tom is passionate about the intersection of faith and politics in the life of Christians and the community around him. Having been touched by both the abortion issue and the issue of homosexuality in his own family, Tom is passionate about defending the lives of the unborn and upholding Biblical Truth. Tom also writes for www.westvirginiaconservative.com