Health Care Compact: taking back control from Washington


Photo credit: Pete Souza

Ever since Obamacare became law, states have been doing whatever they can to avoid it. They have filed lawsuits, requested waivers, passed legislation, and identified loopholes in the law.

Many states are also pursuing another option for regaining control of health care. Four states have already signed into law and twelve others have introduced the Health Care Compact, which would give states primary regulatory authority over health care.

If approved by the Utah Legislature and Congress, the compact would allow Utahns to decide what kind of health care initiatives are best for Utah. We could replace federal one-size-fits-all federal programs with policies that address the unique needs of our people. We would have fewer federal regulations sapping our time, money and freedom. 

What is a compact? Interstate compacts, as allowed by Article I of the U.S. Constitution, are agreements made between two or more states to achieve a specific purpose. For example, states have entered a compact to allow a driver’s license from one state to remain valid while the driver travels through other states. Currently, more than 200 compacts exist among the states, and Congress has approved 90 of them (read more here, here, here and here).

The main components of the Health Care Compact include the following:

  • States would have primary control to regulate all non-military health care goods and services in their state
  • States could suspend federal health care regulations
  • States would receive federal funds each year based on the amount of federal health care dollars spent in their state in 2010 (estimated at $4.1 billion for Utah), adjusted annually for changes in population and inflation
  • Member states would be able to amend the compact with approval of other members and without further congressional consent
  • Member states could withdraw from the compact at any time

To read more about the Health Care Compact, including the full text, go here.

Utahns should choose to pass the Health Care Compact through the state Legislature in order to bring health care decisions back to the state and local level.