Twenty-eight representatives have signed on to HB339. The legislation would protect the right of Kentuckians to make their own health care choices, free from government interference. The legislation specifically targets health insurance mandates in the Patient Protection and Affordable Health Care Act signed into law by Pres. Obama.
The bill declares that no law shall compel a Kentucky citizen, employer or health care provider to participate in any health care system through the use of fines or penalties. It further stipulates that any individual or employer may pay directly for health care services, and that a health care provider may not be fined for accepting direct payment.
The law would also require the Attorney General of Kentucky to “undertake and initiate all necessary legal proceedings to protect and defend Kentuckians’ rights as set forth; prohibit the Governor, the Personnel Cabinet, and state agencies from participating in or complying with any federal law, regulation, or policy that would compromise the freedom of choice in the health care decisions of any resident of Kentucky.”
The bill concludes with a final edict.
“The Governor, the Personnel Cabinet, and Commonwealth agencies shall not participate in or comply with any federal law, regulation, or policy that would compromise the freedom of choice in the health care decisions of any citizen of this Commonwealth.”
Supporters of the federal health care act argue that the commerce clause gives Congress the power to mandate participation in health insurance exchanges. This notion stretches an already bastardized power to regulate interstate commerce to its breaking point. If the federal government can mandate citizen participation in the economy, virtually nothing remains beyond the reach of federal nannies.
The framers understood commerce to mean something very specific – trade. The power to regulate commerce includes the authority to make regulations concerning shipping and transportation, but does not include regulatory power over manufacturing, agriculture or health care. The framers certainly never envisioned the commerce clause as a power to demand participation in an economic activity, such as purchasing health insurance.
Madison explained the limits of the commerce power delegated to the federal government.
“It is very certain that [the commerce clause] grew out of the abuse of the power by the importing States in taxing the non-importing, and was intended as a negative and preventive provision against injustice among the States themselves, rather than as a power to be used for the positive purposes of the General Government.”
In fact, the federal government possesses no authority to create a health care system in the first place.
The Kentucky legislature joins lawmakers in five other states considering health care freedom acts during the 2012 session.
Earlier this month, the Kansas House passed a proposed amendment to its state constitution that would protect the right of Kansans to choose their own health care options. The House overwhelmingly approved the amendment 91-27. If the Senate passes the bill, the citizens of Kansas will have the opportunity to weigh in on the measure during a general election. Ohio citizens approved a health care freedom amendment by a landslide margin last November.
To track health care freedom legislation across the U.S., click HERE.