The March meeting of the Sanders County Republicans will be held at the Plains Bible Chapel, 8 East Fork of Combest Creek Road,  Plains, Montana, on Thursday, March 22nd at 7:00 p.m.

This month’s speaker is the State Director of the National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB ). NFIB and 26 states sued the federal government on Obamacare Legislation.  If you remember, their suit was successful at the Federal District Court with Judge Vinson striking down the individual mandate and the abuse of the Commerce Clause; claiming no sever-ability in the legislation. They (the NFIB and 26 states) will be arguing the case before the Supreme Court of the United States on March 26th. Riley Johnson will be here to discuss the NFIB’s position, its strategies, and concerns, and some of the Amicus Briefs filed on behalf of their lawsuit. He will also speak to some of the NFIB’s success in the Montana Legislature last year. 
 
The Patient Protection and Affordability Act (PPACA), otherwise known as Obamacare, will be litigated on three distinct issues: (1) The individual mandate (Does the federal government have the right to require citizens to purchase a product under the Commerce Clause of the Constitution?); (2) The sever-ability of the PPACA (Does the Act stand without the individual mandate, and if so, to what extent?); and (3) The Constitutionality of the PPACA’s expansion of the federal medicaid program. The impact of how the US Supreme Court defines and decides these issues will have lasting effects.
 
The PPACA, as it stands now, will have a SIGNIFICANT IMPACT on all Montanans and America. Not only will each of us be required to purchase health insurance, but our state taxes will increase substantially to pay for this program. In crafting this legislation, the federal government substantially expanded the medicaid program. Montana is now required to provide a matching percentage of support to the federal medicaid funding our state receives. That percentage is set to progressively increase over the next ten years under the Obamacare legislation, putting the financial burden of this program on the states. (The state of California estimates the annual financial obligation of this program to the state to exceed $10 billion.) Do the citizens of Montana want this …but a better question might be, can we afford this?
 
Congressman Rehberg’s office will be at our meeting to discuss the Amicus Brief’s his office is a party to in defense of NFIB’s position and that of the other 26 states. Please note that Governor Schweitzer and Attorney General Bullock CHOSE not to have Montana support this lawsuit. 
 
The PPACA is one of the foremost issues of our day. This decision out of the Supreme Court is being labeled a “Legacy Decision” and is expected to define the Supreme Court under Chief Justice Robert’s Court. Not since the Voting Act of 1966 has a piece of legislation gone to the Supreme Court that has the ability to so fundamentally impact every American life. 
 
Small businesses are a hallmark of capitalism and the American entrepreneurial  spirit. The NFIB works on behalf of small business in America. Small businesses in American have been an economic engine of our society. Will the PPACA stile their existence, growth, prosperity?

Everyone has skin in this issue. Everyone needs to educate themselves on this issue, what it means, how it impacts us…and what our next steps might be. Please consider attending. 
 
Our business agenda is light due to this guest speaker.
 
We are in the process of re-scheduling last month’s speaker, Stewart Rhodes, founder of Oath Keepers. He had to cancel at the last minute due to a family medical emergency
 
Hope to see you there. We invite and encourage you to attend.
 
Katy French, Sanders County
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