What is an Interstate Compact?

An Interstate Compact is a contractual arrangement made between two or more states in which the assigned parties agree on a specific policy issue and either adopt a set of standards or cooperate with one another on a particular regional or national matter.

Interstate Compacts are considered to be the “the most powerful, durable, and adaptive tools for ensuring cooperative action among the states.” [1] The reasoning for this belief is that, unlike federally imposed mandates, interstate compacts are neither bogged down with stringent bureaucratic requirements nor are they backed by empty funds from a centralized source. Although there are a variety of reasons for an interstate compact to be enacted, the cause for their popularity is two-fold – they afford states the ability to act jointly outside the constraints of the federal government while at the same time respecting the concept of appropriate joint action imposed by Congress.

According to the Council of State Governments, from 1935-2010, about 150 interstate compacts have been created and the average state belongs to 25 of them.  A spokesperson for the group says, “[I]nterstate compacts have typically been used…to stave off federal intervention into an area traditionally reserved for the states (Source Ballotpedia)

Why a Health Care Compact? 

Many Americans are concerned about the Affordable Care Act passed by Congress and enacted in March, 2010.  In light of the recent Supreme Court decision ruling for the Constitutionality of the Law, only 11% of businesses are waiting until after the election to plan for the changes.

Instead, many state and local governments are looking for ways to avoid the costly changes in this law.  This is where the Health Care Compact comes into play.  The Health Care Compact will use the power of compacts to devlove the power to control helath care at the Federal level and bring it back to the states by block granting the money to the states to allocate as they see fit.

To see which states are moving forward with this legislation take a look at the post that Ballotpedia has done to explain and track it’s progress.

What do YOU think?


About The Author

Mark was a co-founder of the Tea Party Patriots, and served as the national coordinator. He left the organization to work more broadly on expanding the self-governance movement beyond the partisan divide. Mark appears regularly on television in outlets as diverse as MSNBC, ABC, NBC, Fox News, CNN, Bloomberg, Fox Business and the BBC. He’s highly sought after for the tea party perspective from print and electronic media outlets, from the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, L.A. Times, Washington Examiner, Politico and the The Hill. Mark blogs at MarkMeckler.com, and his opinion editorials regularly run in many of the leading political newspapers both on and offline. Mark has a BA in English from San Diego State University and graduated with honors from University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law in 1988. He practiced real estate and business law for almost a decade. For the last eleven years of his legal career he specialized in Internet advertising law. When not fighting for the future of our nation, Mark is an avid horseman, and lives in rural northern California with his wife Patty and two children.

4 Responses

  1. John Morningstar

    Pennsylvania has decided after a lot of pressure from Tea Party and conservative groups I have been working with, to NOT set up a Health Care Exchange. With 2013 being a year we all with feel the negative impact of ObamaCare, the time to push the Legislature to pass the Health Care Compact is NOW. I have Tea Party leaders in North East PA ready to lobby in Harrisburg. Was wondering if you have people willing to help with this effort in Pennsylvania. I see Nathan is no longer involved. Thanks
    John Morningstar
    Bradford County Tea Party

    • Mike

      I will have Shonda Werry, the Executive Director of the Interstate Compact Alliance and the Health Care Compact Alliance contact you to see what you guys can do. Tennessee, West Virginia, Ohio, Virginia and Alabama are all having positive reactions and are currently working to pass the compact this year in their respective states.

      You can discuss with her what is happening on the ground in PA and see what the ICA can do to help you in your efforts.

      • John Morningstar

        Thanks Mike, I have worked with Shonda in the past along with Ground Game Strategy. I am working with other groups to gain support for the Compact. I know Rita Grace is helping in Virginia. Lisa Nancollas has been working with me on this. We both had the training in Houston and I have presented the Compact to Doctors in Lancaster. If Shonda needs to call me my cell is 607-857-6115. Thanks

        John Morningstar
        Bradford County Tea Party

  2. Mike

    Excellent, Shonda just told me she will be in touch. Looks like we can add Pennsylvania to the list of states that are moving to pass the HCC this year!

    Great work!


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