Senator Donna Campbell has filed a Senate Joint Resolution (SJR) 5, “proposing a constitutional amendment relating to the rights of individuals to choose or decline to choose to purchase health insurance coverage. This bill has been co-sponsored by Senators Estes and Paxton.
Joint resolutions are different than bills. “Joint resolutions proposing amendments to the Texas Constitution require a vote of two-thirds of the total membership of each chamber for adoption… A joint resolution takes the same course through both chambers as a bill and is like a bill in all respects, except that, in the house, if it receives the required number of votes at any reading after the first reading, the resolution is passed. Three readings are required to pass a joint resolution in the senate. Joint resolutions passed by the legislature are not submitted to the governor for signing but are filed directly with the secretary of state. An amendment to the Texas Constitution proposed by an adopted joint resolution does not become effective until it is approved by Texas voters at a general election.”
By January 1st, 2014, the Medicaid Expansion will take full effect, expanding, “Medicaid coverage to all non-elderly individuals with incomes below 133 of the federal poverty level (FPL)- currently $14,404 for an individual and $24,353 a year for a family of three.” At the Medicaid website, it illustrates that, “States will receive their regular federal match rate for the newly covered populations beginning in 2014. For three years – from 2014 through 2016 – states will receive full federal financing that will cover the costs of expansion populations. Starting in 2017 and going forward states will receive a much higher federal matching rate for their expansion populations. These federal grants are really just taxpayers money that will increase in 4 years to cover 133% of population under the federal poverty level.”
SJR 5 reads, “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. 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.”
This bill defines that punishments may not include to impair “any right of contract related to the provision of health insurance coverage to any individual or group, or the establishment or enforcement of a court or
administrative order for the medical support of a child.” It continues, “penalty or sanction” includes any civil or criminal fine, administrative penalty, license suspension or revocation, suspension or revocation of the authority to engage in business in this state, tax, salary or wage withholding or garnishment, surcharge, or fee, or any other consequence imposed to punish or discourage the exercise of rights protected under Subsection (a) of this section.”
Senator Campbell’s website published her press report stating, “While Senator Campbell recognized the bill would not preempt or nullify the Affordable Care Act, it would control for Texas agencies and their employees. “We should have the backs of Texas families; not be bullying our citizens on the behalf of federal bureaucrats,” Senator Campbell stated. “This bill will prevent Texas agencies from being used in such an unsavory manner. It will also prevent future State legislation which may attempt to piggyback onto the federal penalties.”"
It continues, “For example, the constitutional amendment would prohibit the Office of the Attorney General from being used to garnish wages by the federal government to extract the penalties in the federal legislation. The bill would not affect those who choose to purchase health insurance nor would it affect the enforcement of a court order or administrative order for medical support of a child.”
The press release cited that, “findings from a study published this summer by Health Care Management Review reported that mandatory individual insurance coverage in Massachusetts led to a significant near-term drop in hospital productivity, making an increase in overall health care costs more likely.”
Stopping the Medicaid expansion is one of four steps to stop the implementation of Obamacare. One step will not be enough. As states continue the effort. Last year, HJR48 was introduced at the end of last year, “proposing a constitutional amendment relating to the rights of individuals to choose or decline to choose to purchase health insurance coverage.”
LEGISLATION AND TRACKING
Get model legislation to ban Medicaid expansion – plus other state actions to resist the Affordable Care at here: http://tenthamendmentcenter.com/obamacare
Track the status of all such bills in states around the country here:
If you are not a Texas resident and would like to see legislation to stop Obamacare being introduced in your state, please go here.
If you are Texas resident and would like to see current legislative actions happening please see the Texas Tenth Amendment Center here.
Also Texans can like us on the Texas Tenth Amendment Center’s Facebook page here.
If you want to stop the expansion of medicaid in Texas, please contact the Senate Committee on State Affairs.
Click on the Senator’s link and fill out contact form at bottom of their page if you prefer to email.
Sen. Robert Duncan
Phone: (512) 463-0128
Sen. Bob Deuell
Phone: (512) 463-0102
Sen. Rodney Ellis
Phone: (512) 463-0113
Sen. Troy Fraser
Sen. Joan Huffman
Sen. Eddie Lucio, Jr.
Sen. Robert Nichols
Sen. Leticia Van de Putte
Sen. Tommy Williams