GOP Furious That 1993 Voter Registration Act Guarantees Right To Register When Applying For Health Insurance
One of the main reasons Republicans oppose Obamacare has largely flown under the public’s radar — until now. Here’s the key to understanding the GOP’s typically mean-spirited position: applications for insurance under the Affordable Care Act will also allow people to register to vote. Aha! The picture jumps into focus. Those in our population who are most anxious to sign up for healthcare coverage are the same people who the GOP has worked diligently, in state after state, to disenfranchise. The Affordable Care Act could lay waste to all that conservative effort.
Voters’ Rights groups have been keenly aware of this emerging issue, which is likely to be fought out in court. It became obvious to careful watchers in March, when a draft of the insurance application became public, that it would include the opportunity to register to vote. It was also obvious to those defending the right to vote that this provision is mandated by federal law — specifically by the 1993 National Voter Registration Act. That law, more popularly known as the “Motor Voter Act”, specified that states had to offer voter registration in government offices. That’s why most states currently offer the option to register to everyone who gets a driver’s license.At what point was President Obama aware of this relationship between applications for health insurance and voter registration? Is it possible that, way back in 2008, he foresaw that the GOP would aggressively attempt to disenfranchise Democratic voters as a response to his election? Is it possible he recognized the synchronicity arising from heath insurance reform and protecting voting rights? I don't know, but if so....very interesting.
I wonder who first raised the issue that the health insurance applications should include a voter registration provision? Find that string and pull it and you will have an amazing story of smarts and democracy in action.