With the filing of House Bill 105, Kentucky joined 10 other states seeking to establish some level of health care freedom for its citizens in 2011.
HB 105 declares, “No federal or state law or rule shall compel, directly or indirectly, a person, employer, or health care provider in the Commonwealth of Kentucky to participate in a health care system.”
The bill also allows for Kentuckians to pay directly for any health care service and exempts them from fines or penalties if they, or their employers, make a direct payment to any health care provider.
The bill directly defies the insurance mandate in the federal health care act passed by Congress and signed by Pres. Obama last year, but does not challenge the overall constitutionality of congressional control of the Commonwealth’s health care system. In fact, the bill implicitly acknowledges the authority of Congress to compel states to participate in the insurance exchange program created by the health care bill, stipulating that “qualifying” health care plans in the Bluegrass State will not cover elective abortion.
Representative Joe Fischer (R-Ft. Thomas), Addia Wuchner (R-Florence), C.B. Embry (R-Morgantown, Brent Housman (R-Paducah), Stan Lee (R-Lexington) and Brad Montell (R-Shelbyville) co-sponsored the bill.
HB105 was submitted to the Health and Welfare Committee on Jan. 5. Rep. Tom Burch chairs the committee. The progressive leaning Louisville Democrat will likely oppose the legislation and fight to keep it locked up in committee.
Should the bill make its way out of committee, it would likely enjoy stronger support, even in the democratically controlled House. Polls consistently show more than 60 percent of Kentuckians oppose insurance mandates. But it remains unclear if the bill would garner enough support to pass.
A similar bill failed to make it out of the Banking and Insurance committee during the 2010 regular legislative session.
More than 30 states introduced health care freedom legislation in 2010. Idaho, Utah, Arizona, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Missouri and Virginia passed and enacted health care freedom laws last year.
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 about the bill. CLICK HERE to track the Nullification Act in states around the country.