Bob Robb writes compellingly this week of the collapse of federalism, synonymous with the growth of gigantic, centralized government. It’s hard not to feel helpless as government grows and grows and we continue to send the tab to our children and grandchildren for things we want but don’t want to pay for.
But states have power now that they don’t use. They just have to refused to be seduced by the money that the feds dangle in front of them to obtain compliance. The game rules are that the feds can’t force the states to do things not in the constitution but apparently they can legally bribe them – and they do.
The Medicaid expansion before the Legislature is a great place for states to strike a blow for federalism and their own financial well-being. The feds are offering a primo deal – a ten: one match! But it’s like a cell phone contract. The free service is for a limited time only. Then you’re on your own.
Understandably, health insurers and hospitals are pressuring lawmakers to get on board. They are betting, possibly correctly that when the federal largess runs out, the pressure on the state will be enormous to pick up the newly dependent populations. How the state will come up with a money – well, we don’t need to bother our little brains with that right now.
Arizona can move beyond finger wagging and complaining. It is in our power to do something substantive to get out from under the federal fun. Are we serious about resisting federal encroachment and preserving a better future for those following us? Or is the money just too tempting and whining too easy?
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Bio: Patterson is the volunteer chairman of the Goldwater Institute and past chairman of the Arizona Advisory Committee to the United States Commission on Civil Rights.
He has served on several community boards, including Goodwill of Central Arizona, Diamondbacks Foundation and Hospice of the Valley.
He is the state chairman for Americans for Tax Reform. Previously, he served as the President of the Arizona Chapter of the American College of Emergency Physicians and ALEC, the American Legislative Exchange Council (public sector chair). He was the minority leader (91-92) and majority leader (93-96) of the Arizona Senate.
He is a registered Republican but not politically active. In addition, he was the organizer and lead tenor of the original Arizona Singing Senators.