The Tea Party came to prominence in the wake of ObamaCare, the federal takeover of American healthcare starting in 2009. State implementation of the federal law stirred up the movement again today.
It all started last week when a Kentucky ObamaCare official, Kris Hayslett quietly scheduled an auditorium in the state Transportation Cabinet building for a "public" meeting discussing state activity in setting up a health insurance exchange in the state.
A tea party activist uncovered the event and noted the almost eery lack of publicity behind it. With barely 72 hours notice, a Facebook event page was established. By Monday at 1pm, more than 100 tea partiers joined about three dozen state employees, contractors and lobbyists for what became a two hour long wake-up call for anyone who thought there would be no public resistance to socialized medicine.
"Unbelievable," said Candice Franklin of Lincoln County. "No one in Frankfort can answer where the money will come from to pay for this free stuff for everybody."
Kathy Linzy of Anderson County enjoyed watching the bureaucratic panel's shell-shocked reaction to public opposition to their scheme.
"Clearly their eyes were glazing over when the folks at the mic asked questions," Linzy said. "The panel did say these were not the questions they were looking for. What they were looking for was info and ideas on how to implement the health care exchange."
Kentucky has already accepted more federal money to establish a state run health insurance exchange than any other state but New York. Last week, Governor Steve Beshear claimed that he had no choice but to prepare to set up a state run exchange should the U.S. Supreme Court find the law constitutional. The panel today repeated his claim, despite the fact that the law clearly says it is optional.
Further, common sense says that not getting the state involved in this nonsense is the cheaper way to go.
"This is the camel's nose, head and three-fourths of its body already in the tent," said Dan Blanchard of Jefferson County. "If centralized government imposes its will on us here, it sets all the precedent they need to go after any vestige of liberty in any other areas we have left. This is not about affordable health care. It's about a pseudo-intelligent elite trying to control 'We the People.'"
The strong showing of tea partiers clearly frustrated the bureaucrats, but left conservatives wondering what would come next.
"Other than a show of force, I wonder if we accomplished much," said Ann Prothro of Woodford County. "I found them very parental, patronizing. It felt like they thought we were all talking in study hall."
Indeed, what comes next is critical. A single, simple demand is necessary. Conservatives and tea partiers should call Governor Beshear and demand that he return the $60 million in federal grant money Kentucky has received to implement an ObamaCare. His number is (502)564-2611. Further, please call your state Senator and Representative and demand that they publicly call on Beshear to send the money back and discontinue all efforts to create an ObamaCare health insurance exchange in Kentucky.