On November 28, I posted about a speech by a true constitutional conservative and Tea Party favorite, Republican Sen. Mike Lee of Utah, in which he explained that he wouldn't vote for a Senate Republican jobs bill because it included a section imposing federal limits on awards in medical malpractice lawsuits (the Senate version of H.R. 5, passed by the House last week).
Sen. Lee discussed the Obamacare case on Fox Business Network yesterday, and he used the opportunity to again make the link between Obamacare and federal tort reform, as many conservatives and libertarians have done in criticizing H.R. 5. The anchor didn't ask for his views on federal tort reform; the Senator volunteered the comparison. Here is the pertinent excerpt, from a transcript provided by Congressional Quarterly:
Decisions like this, gut-wrenching difficult decisions about health care reform, are made by states. They ought to be made by states. It's the states that license doctors and nurses and hospitals and clinics. It's the states that license and regulate health care, health insurance companies. It's the states that come up with the system of tort laws that govern medical malpractice lawsuits.
So states control all these drivers of health care costs. It's entirely appropriate for states to engage in more comprehensive types of reform.
Now, a state like mine, Utah, isn't going to make the same decisions that a state like Massachusetts or Vermont might make, and thank heaven for that. But there is a fundamental difference between what happens when a state does this as compared to when Congress does it.
Now if only Sen. Lee's Republican colleagues will listen to him...