idaho-sealToday, Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter welcomed legislative sponsors to his office at the Capitol today for the signing of House Bill 391 – the Idaho Health Freedom Act.

“Congress and the White House are working out their scheme for pushing through a healthcare ‘reform’ bill that has more pages than the U.S. Constitution has words. I guarantee you that not a single member of the House or Senate has a complete understanding of that legislation any more than they understood all the implications of the USA PATRIOT Act back in 2001,” Governor Otter said. “What the Idaho Health Freedom Act says is that the citizens of our state won’t be subject to another federal mandate or turn over another part of their life to government control.”

The bill makes public policy for the state that “every person within the state of Idaho is and shall be free to choose or decline to choose any mode of securing health care services without penalty or threat of penalty by the federal government of the United States of America.”

The Tenth Amendment to the Constitution codifies in law that the federal government is one of limited, delegated powers – and that all powers not enumerated in the Constitution are reserve “to the States, respectively, or to the People.”

The Idaho Health Freedom Act specifically addresses this in regards to health care and the federal government:

STATEMENT OF PUBLIC POLICY. (1) The power to require or regulate a person’s choice in the mode of securing health care services, or to impose a penalty related thereto, is not found in the Constitution of the United States of America, and is therefore a power reserved to the people pursuant to the Ninth Amendment, and to the several states pursuant to the Tenth Amendment. The state of Idaho hereby exercises its sovereign power to declare the public policy of the state of Idaho regarding the right of all persons residing in the state of Idaho in choosing the mode of securing health care services free from the imposition of penalties, or the threat thereof, by the federal government of the United States of America relating thereto.

The bill passed the House by a vote of 52-18, and the Senate by vote of 24-10.

Otter is the first Governor in the nation to sign such a bill into law. In Virginia and Utah, both houses have passed a version of a health care freedom act – and governors in both states have given strong indication that they will sign. In 2009, the Arizona legislature passed HCR2014, which will put the question of Health Care Freedom to voters on the 2010 ballot in the form of a state constitutional amendment.

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.

CLICK HERE to view the Tenth Amendment Center’s health care freedom act tracking page


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