TOPEKA, Kan. (June 1, 2011) – In 1955, Rosa Parks refused to give in, remaining seated when told to move to the back of the bus.
The state of Kansas joined Parks in spirit this morning, refusing to give in and allow the federal government to trample on its sovereignty over health care – an issue left to the states and the people under the Tenth Amendment.
Gov. Sam Brownback signed a health care freedom act into law Wednesday morning.
Provisions in HB2182 target the individual insurance mandate in the federal health care act passed by Congress last year, and prohibit any law from forcing Kansans citizens to purchase health insurance.
A resident of this state has the right to purchase health insurance or refuse purchase health insurance. The government shall not interfere with a resident’s right to purchase health insurance or with a resident’s right to refuse to purchase health insurance.
The bill also provides that Kansas residents can pay directly for health care and prohibits punishment for failure to participate in any health care program.
The government shall not enact a law that would restrict these rights or that would impose a form of punishment for exercising these rights. No provision of this section shall render a resident of this state liable for any punishment, penalty, assessment, fee or fine as a result of such resident’s failure to procure or obtain health insurance coverage or participate in any health care system or plan.
The legislation overwhelmingly passed the Kansas Senate 38-1, and the amended version passed the House 107-14.
Sen. Mary Pilcher-Cook (R-Shawnee) gave the people of Kansas credit for the legislative victory.
“This achievement would not have been possible without the enthusiasm of thousands of Kansas citizens the past two years. Your diligence in contacting your legislators and letting them know how important this legislation is to you undoubtedly got us over the top in the end,” she said. “While our fight for liberty is far from complete, enacting the Health Care Freedom Act is an important achievement in that battle.”
Kansas joins Tennessee in passing a health care freedom act into law this year. In all, nine states have made health care freedom the law of the land. Several states still have similar bills under consideration. And North Dakota legislators passed a nullification act, signed by the governor, targeting not just the insurance mandate, but the entire health care bill. The Idaho legislature passed similar legislation, vetoed by the governor.
“Every time a state passes legislation asserting its sovereignty over health care, it creates a higher hurdle for the feds. This is what James Madison envisioned. States recognizing an unconstitutional federal overreach and challenging it – interposing as he put it,” Tenth Amendment Center communications director Mike Maharrey said. “The more states that stand up and fight the health care act, the harder it gets for the federal government to implement its scheme.
For more information on health care freedom acts and legislative tracking, click here.
For information on health care nullification and legislative tracking, click here.