Wyoming Ballot Includes Unconstitutional Attack On Obamacare

Before the Supreme Court largely upheld the Affordable Care Act against a legal challenge that had no basis “in either the text of the Constitution or Supreme Court precedent,” right-wing lawmakers tried to undermine health reform through unconstitutional state laws or ballot initiatives claiming that parts of Obamacare simply did not apply in their state. The fact that these efforts violates the Constitution’s explicit text, which provides that duly enacted federal laws “shall be the supreme law of the land” did not seem to bother them in the least.

Months after the Supreme Court turned away the spurious legal attacks on health reform, conservative Wyoming lawmakers are still pushing this unconstitutional effort to undermine it with a proposed state constitutional amendment that will be on the ballot next week. And their unconstitutional nullification amendment is unusually explicit about the direct conflict it presents with federal law & the Constitution:

No federal or state law, rule or administrative decision shall compel, directly or indirectly, any person, employer or health care provider to participate in any health care system

Ultimately, these kinds of unconstitutional attacks on a entirely valid federal law are cruelest to the conservative voters who turn out to support them. If this initiative passes, many Wyomians will be left with the entirely false impression that they no longer have to comply with a federal law. Some of them may even break the law as a result. But their legal obligations under the Affordable Care Act will not change one bit, even if the proponents of this amendment deceive them into thinking they have.