In response to the overwhelming backlash of Tennesseans against pending federal health care legislation in Congress, members of the Tennessee General Assembly have introduced two bills in an attempt to challenge the federal legislation head on. These bills are designed to nullify potential federal health care legislation as well as expand the health care choices available to Tennesseans.
Rep. Debra Young Maggart and Sen. Diane Black are leading the charge to nullify nationalized health care by sponsoring the Tennessee Freedom of Choice in Health Care Act (HB2654/SB2490). Their legislation is intended to nullify the pending federal health care legislation as well as any future legislation along the same lines. The Act states that:
A statute, common law or rule shall not compel, directly or indirectly, any person, employer or health care provider to participate in any health care system. A person or employer may pay directly for lawful health care services and shall not be required to pay penalties or fines for paying directly for lawful health care services. A health care provider may accept direct payment for lawful health care services and shall not be required to pay penalties or fines for accepting direct payment from a person or employer for lawful health care services.
Additional verbiage is included to nullify any possible attempts to make the purchase or sale of private health insurance illegal. The Tennessee bill is modeled after similar legislation introduced in both Arizona and Florida.
Sen. Brian Kelsey has filed the Health Care Choice Act legislation (HB2417/SB3177), sponsored by Rep. Bob Ramsey in the House. According to Sen. Kelsey this bill would allow Tennesseans to purchase health insurance across state lines, potentially increasing the number of available health insurance plans from 127 to more than 5,000.
The new bill has already garnered a dozen co-sponsors to date in the House alone. Sen. Kelsey says that his bill is a response to the backlash against Obamacare in Tennessee. “We absolutely want health care reform, just not the government-run version,” states Sen. Kelsey.
CLICK HERE to see the Tenth Amendment Center’s Health Care Nullification Tracking Page
Lesley Swann is a Co-Host for Tenther Radio and the state chapter coordinator for the Tennessee Tenth Amendment Center. She is a native of Anderson County, Tennessee.
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