The Orange County Board of Supervisors, or at least three of the five, should be commended for voting to reject federal grant money available through Obamacare to the county’s health care agency. It was a bold decision that more local elected officials throughout the state and country should emulate. It sends a message to President Barack Obama and his administration: We do not want nationalized health care, and we will not help implement it.
By a 3-2 vote last week, the board opted to reject a grant application of $40,000 for a workplace-wellness program with funding tied to the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, dubbed Obamacare by critics. In June, for similar reasons, the board voted against another grant that would have provided $10 million over five years.
Supervisors Shawn Nelson, John Moorlach and Patricia Bates voted to block the grant; Janet Nguyen and soon-to-be termed-out Supervisor Bill Campbell voted to accept it. All five are Republicans though Mr. Campbell and Ms. Nguyen, in this instance, did not demonstrate a commitment to historical Republican ideals or even good fiduciary sense.
We wondered how two candidates to fill Mr. Campbell’s seat, former Supervisor Todd Spitzer and Villa Park Councilwoman Deborah Pauly, would have voted on the grant. Ms. Pauly said she would have voted “with the board majority on the HCA federal grant application” and said she had voted against taking stimulus money in her city. Mr. Spitzer also said he would have voted “to deny the HCA request for the Obamacare grants”.
Sally Pipes, president of the Pacific Research Institute and author of two books critical of Obamacare, cheered the board and hopes “other municipalities will come to the same conclusion and not take the funding.”
Board Chairman John Moorlach said in an email Thursday: “The federal government spends some $100 for every $60 it receives, and it continues to give away tax money that it does not have. How do I, in good conscience, take money from a government that is structurally bankrupt? How do I, also in good conscience, take money from a program that I believe is destined to fail? Socialized medicine will fail, and will fail miserably. When do grant and funding recipients collectively stand up and say, ‘Don’t make us complicit in your poor fiscal management!’”
If more counties followed Orange County’s example in rejecting Obamacare-related funds, implementing a bad law would be far more difficult, assuming that Obamacare, with its mandate that all Americans purchase government approved health insurance, survives its encounter this spring with the Supreme Court.
(Brian Calle is a columnist and editorial writer for the Orange County Register. Originally posted on Uncommon Ground.)