Ballot Initiative of the Day: Will Wyoming Resist Obamacare?

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The US Supreme Court may have upheld most of ObamaCare as constitutional this summer, but Wyoming is pushing another avenue to challenge the health care law–a state constitutional amendment on the ballot Nov. 6. The “Wyoming Healthcare Freedom Amendment A,” as its supporters call it, attempts to let individuals sidestep the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act’s insurance mandate.

Wyoming’s GOP-backed legislature approved the amendment last year, one month before Obama signed the PPACA into law. Senator Leslie Nutting sponsored the proposal and continues to push for its approval. “Amendment A supports both individual and state rights in the area of health care,” she says, arguing that the Obamacare threatens Wyoming’s fiscal future and will likely be defunded. “Amendment A will give us more say in its replacement.”

On the other side, the Equality State Policy Center in Wyoming has called the amendment a nullification bill. “The summer SCOTUS ruling on the ACA essentially renders the amendment moot,” explains Dan Neal, who directs the Equality State Policy Center in Wyoming.  “Worse, the language is so vague that even the sponsors can’t assert that it clearly enables Wyoming residents to escape the mandate.”

Wyoming is not alone in its attempt to again challenge the Affordable Care Act and the Supreme Court. Alabama and Florida, the state that led the ACA lawsuit to the Supreme Court, have also proposed constitutional amendments, and Montana and Missouri have put forth state laws. All the measures were drafted prior to the Supreme Court decision, so even if any of the ballot propositions pass, they will likely have little impact.