Voters in Oklahoma today decided that they don’t want a law to require them to buy health insurance, as they voted to approve State Question 756 by a wide margin (64% in favor at the time of this writing). The question was the result of the Oklahoma legislature passing Senate Joint Resolution 59 (SJR59) this year.
The legislation states that “A law or rule shall not compel, directly or indirectly, any person, employer or health care provider to participate in any health care system” – in an attempt to nullify health insurance mandates within the state. It previously passed the State Senate by a vote of 30-13 and the State House by a vote of 88-9.
The House had waited to act on the resolution as the legislature attempted to override a veto of similar legislation that would’ve enacted the Health Care Freedom Act via statute. But, after the veto override failed, the House took action on SJR59. Because it is a referendum question, the decision bypassed Governor Henry and went directly to the people on the November 2nd state ballot.
State Senator Randy Brogdon, in a statement about the Oklahoma Health Care Freedom Act, said:
“This legislation does three things. It would prevent the federal government from forcing any Oklahoman to participate in any health care system. It would also prohibit the federal government from dictating how doctors choose to care for their patients. Finally, the measure authorizes the leaders of the Legislature to hire outside council to represent Oklahoma in a lawsuit to prevent Obamacare from being forced on our state.”
Similar legislation has already passed as law in Virginia, Utah, Missouri, Idaho and Louisiana. Voters in Arizona and Colorado are also deciding on similar state constitutional amendments to reject health care mandates today.
The principle behind such legislation is nullification, which has a long history in the American tradition. When a state ‘nullifies’ a federal law, it is proclaiming that the law in question is void and inoperative, or ‘non-effective,’ within the boundaries of that state; or, in other words, not a law as far as the state is concerned. Implied in such legislation is that the state apparatus will enforce the act against all violations – in order to protect the liberty of the state’s citizens.
CLICK HERE to view the Tenth Amendment Center’s Health Care Freedom Act legislative tracking page
The Tenth Amendment Center has released the Federal Health Care Nullification Act, which directly nullifies the “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act” on a state level. Click here to learn more.