As the national debate on health care continues in
Even before the events in
The essence of the proposed constitutional amendment is this, “To preserve the freedom of citizens of this state to provide for their health care, no law or rule shall compel, directly or indirectly or through penalties or fines, any person, employer, or health care provider to participate in any health care system.”
The proposed amendment ensures that:
· Health care providers may accept direct payment for services rendered by
· The purchase and sale of health insurance shall not be prohibited by law or rule, and;
· No person will be required to pay fines or penalties if they choose to purchase their own health care and accept payment for providing health care services.
In other words, an individual cannot be forced to participate in a health care system without their consent and that individuals have the freedom to participate.
Think about it, there are two general obligations for citizenship in
We can have the debate about whether it is responsible for someone to go without health insurance, but that is a completely different conversation than saying that every citizen must, by the force of law, purchase health insurance or enroll in a government program thereby binding them to the will of faceless bureaucrats.
Some argue that such an amendment to a state constitution is unconstitutional. They argue that the supremacy clause of the US Constitution trumps state actions. It is time that we consider another constitutional principle, that of federalism. As a constitutional principle, it is important not only to the appropriate division of powers between the federal government and the states, but also the ever important pursuit of individual liberty and limited government.
Traditionally, states have been considered laboratories of democracy and innovation. The states were able, even expected, to develop policies reflecting the widely varying local conditions of our great land, and that is especially important in health care. Today, the federal government is asserting, if not amassing, it’s authority over the American life in regards to health care, imposing a "one size fits all" policy. Now is the time to reassert the proper constitutional role of federalism so that future power grabs become more difficult and less likely.
We should allow the people of
Federalism is all about keeping government within the reach of the people, about keeping government in its place. Health care is personal, it is about us, each of us, and we deserve our rightful place in making health care decisions. The Health Care Freedom Act which I have sponsored keeps government in its place. As Alexander Hamilton proclaimed before the