A story today on Politico reports the following:
Despite their best efforts, tea party activists could not stop Congress from passing health reform last year.
Now, they're finding surprising success doing the next best thing: blocking the law's implementation.
In South Carolina, tea party activists have been picking off Republican co-sponsors of a health exchange bill, getting even the committee chairman who would oversee the bill to turn against it.
A Montana legislator who ran on a tea party platform has successfully blocked multiple health exchange bills, persuading his colleagues to instead move forward with legislation that would specifically bar the state from setting up a marketplace.
And in Georgia, tea party protests forced Gov. Nathan Deal to shelve exchange legislation that the Legislature had worked on for months.
The moves have buoyed some health reform opponents, who contend that states cannot both challenge the law while laying its foundation.
These victories are in addition to ones in Florida and Louisiana, reported here. Meanwhile in Michigan, the Legislature has taken no actions to block collaboration with ObamaCare, and the Department of Community Health has accepted $1 million from the federal government toward creating a state “exchange,” one of the key elements of the new federal law whose major provisions go into effect in January 2014.
(Note: State Rep. Tom McMillin, R-Rochester Hills, has introduced House Bill 4050, placing in statute a prohibition on a state-imposed "individual mandate" to purchase health insurance, but this would not affect the federal mandate, and the bill has not been taken up by the House Health Policy Committee since it was introduced on Jan. 13.)
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