A national think tank is saying the state constitution in Michigan doesn't have to be changed to nullify the federal healthcare reform law known as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
Michael Boldin, founder of the Tenth Amendment Center in Los Angeles, said his think tank is saying it is as simple as standard legislative action.
The Tenth Amendment Center is proposing a template for its Federal Health Care Nullification Act legislation that Boldin said would nullify the federal health care law.
Boldin said he was supportive of other efforts, such as the petition drive in Michigan to change the constitution, but thought legislation may be the simplest way.
"The most difficult thing to have done on the state level is to change the state constitution," Boldin said.
Boldin said his think tank is now promoting its Federal Health Care Nullification Act because he says legislation in the 30-plus states that would change those state's constitution are not working.
"Most are failing," Boldin said. "A lot of them are dropping in committee."
Boldin called the petition drives taking place in various states — including Michigan — a "great idea."
"We recognize these petition drives are very, very difficult to have success with," Boldin said. "People are not aware there is another option."
Boldin said no politicians in Michigan have yet taken up the legislation.
It would involve stating that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is null and void at the state level.
Then Boldin said the state legislation would have to do "what is necessary" to make sure it would be successful. An example he gave included a "Sheriffs First" law that would mandate that federal agents had to get permission from county sheriffs to make an arrest.
Michigan has its own efforts underway to overturn the federal health care law.
State Sen. Wayne Kuipers, R-Holland, has proposed Senate Joint Resolution K, which would allow Michigan residents to vote on a constitutional amendment that would overrule federal mandates on health care. His proposal was voted on by the full Senate but failed to gain the two-thirds majority required of a constitutional amendment proposal. There are also two similar constitutional amendments proposed in the Michigan House by Reps. Justin Amash, R-Grand Rapids, and Brain Calley, R-Portland.
Grass roots organizations are now circulating the petitions to put a very similar constitutional amendment on the ballot this November. To gain to ballot access for the 2010 general election, citizen-initiated constitutional amendments require more than 380,000 valid signatures, submitted by July.