Representative James White (R-Luftkin) has prefiled House Joint Resolution 48 (HJR 48) in the Texas State House of Representatives. The bill is designed to amend Article I of the Texas Constitution and would protect the rights of people there to decide for themselves whether or not to purchase health insurance. It states, in part:
“Each individual in this state has the right to choose or decline to choose to purchase health insurance coverage without penalty or sanction or threat of penalty or sanction.”
This bill essentially nullifies the requirement of individuals to purchase health insurance as described in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. In Section 5000A of the PPACA, it states that individuals must have healthcare coverage, as well as their dependents in any given month. If coverage is lacking, a penalty will be imposed, unless certain income requirements aren’t met. From the act:
‘‘(a) An applicable individual shall for each month beginning after 2013 ensure that the individual, and any dependent of the individual who is an applicable individual, is covered under minimum essential coverage for such month.
(b) (1) IN GENERAL.—If an applicable individual fails to meet the requirement of subsection (a) for 1 or more months during any calendar year beginning after 2013, then, except as provided in subsection (d), there is hereby imposed a penalty with respect to the individual in the amount determined under subsection (c).”
HJR48 would counter the insurance mandate by preventing any State employee or public official from helping effectuate the penalties for non-compliance:
“A state agency, public official, employee, or political subdivision of this state may not act to impose, collect, enforce, or effectuate a penalty or sanction intended to punish or discourage the exercise of the right described by Subsection (a) of this section.”
In other words, if the bill passes, Texas will refuse to comply with Section 5000A of Obamacare, and the Feds will have to find out how to do it on their own. According to research by Michael Cannon and others at the CATO Institute, economically-speaking, the federal government is reliant upon a certain level of state cooperation to ensure that the mandate stays afloat. The estimates from many experts are that if 20 states refuse to comply with setting up exchanges, it’s going to great serious problems to carry out the mandate. With a number of state Governors, including Rick Perry of Texas, taking the position that they will not assist the federal government by creating or participating the mandated exchange program, the mandate is already teetering.
HJR48 takes it a step further. Instead of just leaving such a decision to the whims of Governor Perry – or a future Governor – through a State Constitutional Amendment, it slams the door shut on any future participation in such a program by any Governor.
The resolution was introduced by Rep. White on Nov. 27, 2012. If it passes both houses, Texas voters will decide the fate of the amendment at the polls on Nov. 5, 2013.
It is true that the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled certain provisions of the PPACA Constitutional, including the penalty for non-compliance. However, as Thomas Jefferson said, nullification by the States is the “rightful remedy,” when the Federal Government has acted beyond their constitutionally enumerated powers.
And in the case of the PPACA, that’s exactly what Congress has done.
ACTION ITEMS IN TEXAS
Urge your State Reps to pass HJR48
1. Visit this link for contact information http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/Resources/contactText.aspx
2. click on a representative name that is your representative – get their email address and TWO phone numbers – capitol and district offices
3. CALL them. Best option – Let them know you support this bill
4. EMAIL them – even if call, you can still email too. Or just email.
5. Do the same for the Governor’s office – (800) 843-5789 or http://governor.state.tx.us/contact/
6. Report Back – when you get responses, let us know! We want people to be informed of what their delegates are saying and doing.
TEXAS ACTIVISTS ON FACEBOOK:
Join this organizing group – http://www.facebook.com/groups/nullifyobamacareTX/
OUTSIDE OF TEXAS
Act now to reject Obamacare in your state, city, county or town.
1. Use this model legislation: http://tenthamendmentcenter.com/legislation/federal-health-care-nullification-act/
2. Get involved, start here: http://www.tenthamendmentcenter.com/volunteer