On Wednesday, the Tennessee Senate passed SB0079, the Tennessee Health Care Freedom Act sponsored by Sen. Mae Beavers.  The bill passed with 21 Ayes, 10 Nays, and one Present Not Voting.  The Tennessee Health Care Freedom Act is essentially the same bill that passed in the Senate but failed in the House during the 2010 legislative session, with a few minor revisions.

Later in the afternoon, the House companion bill, HB0115 sponsored by Rep. Terri Lynn Weaver, was recommended for passage by the General Subcommittee of the House Commerce Committee.  It will be forwarded to the full House Commerce Committee.  Contact information for the House Commerce Committee members is listed below.  Please begin contacting them now to express your support.

The Tennessee Health Care Freedom Act seeks to return the choice of health care and health insurance to individual Tennesseans instead of leaving decisions in the hands of the federal government.  While SB0079 does not nullify the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act in its entirety, it prohibits Tennesseans from being penalized if they choose not to participate in a federal or federally-approved health care plan. 

The bill states:

“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. This state hereby exercises its sovereign power to declare the public policy of this state regarding the right of all persons residing in this state in choosing the mode of securing health care services.”

SB0079 goes on to declare the public policy of the state of Tennessee to be one where Tennesseans are free to choose any method of securing health care services or to refuse to do so without threat of penalty.  This is a crucial step forward in the fight to protect Tennesseans from the unconstitutional mandates imposed by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act passed by Congress last year.

The passage of the bill in the Senate is a victory, but we still need to keep up the fight to ensure that it passes through the House and is signed by the Governor.  Please begin today to contact the legislators below to express your support for HB0115.

House Commerce Committee

Rep. Steve McManus, Chair: Republican, District 96
107 WMB, (615) 741-1920, rep.steve.mcmanus@capitol.tn.gov

Rep. Jon C. Lundberg, Vice-Chair: Republican, District 1
205 WMB, (615) 741-7623, rep.jon.lundberg@capitol.tn.gov

Rep. Pat Marsh, Secretary: Republican, District 62
110 WMB, (615) 741-6824, rep.pat.marsh@capitol.tn.gov

Rep. Charles Curtiss: Democrat, District 43
34 LP, (615) 741-1963, rep.charles.curtiss@capitol.tn.gov

Rep. Linda Elam: Republican, District 57
215 WMB, (615) 741-7462, rep.linda.elam@capitol.tn.gov

Rep. JoAnne Favors: Democrat, District 29
25 LP, (615) 741-2702, rep.joanne.favors@capitol.tn.gov

Rep. Brenda Gilmore: Democrat, District 54
22 LP, (615) 741-1997, rep.brenda.gilmore@capitol.tn.gov

Rep. G. A. Hardaway, Sr.: Democrat, District 92
109 WMB, (615) 741-5625, rep.ga.hardaway@capitol.tn.gov

Rep. Bill W. Harmon: Democrat, District 37
24 LP, (615) 741-6849, rep.bill.harmon@capitol.tn.gov

Rep. Ryan A. Haynes: Republican, District 14
203 WMB, (615) 741-2264, rep.ryan.haynes@capitol.tn.gov

Rep. Curtis Johnson: Republican, District 68
212 WMB, (615) 741-4341, rep.curtis.johnson@capitol.tn.gov

Rep. Phillip Johnson: Republican, District 78
104 WMB, (615) 741-7477, rep.phillip.johnson@capitol.tn.gov

Rep. Jimmy Matlock: Republican, District 21
219 WMB, (615) 741-3736, rep.jimmy.matlock@capitol.tn.gov

Rep. Don Miller: Republican, District 10
37 LP, (615) 741-6877, rep.don.miller@capitol.tn.gov

Rep. Richard Montgomery: Republican, District 12
201 WMB, (615) 741-5981, rep.richard.montgomery@capitol.tn.gov

Rep. Joe Pitts: Democrat, District 67
34 LP, (615) 741-2043, rep.joe.pitts@capitol.tn.gov

Rep. Mark Pody: Republican, District 46
202 WMB, (615) 741-7086, rep.mark.pody@capitol.tn.gov

Rep. Dennis Powers: Republican, District 36
G-4 WMB, (615) 741-3335, rep.dennis.powers@capitol.tn.gov

Rep. John D. Ragan: Republican, District 33
32 LP, (615) 741-4400, rep.john.ragan@capitol.tn.gov

Rep. Dennis E. Roach: Republican, District 35
217 WMB, (615) 741-2534, rep.dennis.roach@capitol.tn.gov

Rep. Charles Michael Sargent, Jr.: Republican, District 61
206 WMB, (615) 741-6808, rep.charles.sargent@capitol.tn.gov

Rep. Cameron Sexton: Republican, District 25
17 LP, (615) 741-2343, rep.cameron.sexton@capitol.tn.gov

Rep. David A. Shepard: Democrat, District 69
34 LP, (615) 741-3513, rep.david.shepard@capitol.tn.gov

Rep. Janis Baird Sontany: Democrat, District 53
32 LP, (615) 741-6861, rep.janis.sontany@capitol.tn.gov

Rep. Art Swann: Republican, District 8
214 WMB, (615) 741-5481, rep.art.swann@capitol.tn.gov

Rep. Curry Todd: Republican, District 95
209 WMB, (615) 741-1866, rep.curry.todd@capitol.tn.gov

Rep. Joe Towns, Jr.: Democrat, District 84
36 LP, (615) 741-2189, rep.joe.towns@capitol.tn.gov

Rep. Kent Williams: Independent, District 4
19 LP, (615) 741-7450, rep.kent.williams@capitol.tn.gov

Rep. Tim Wirgau: Republican, District 75
17 LP, (615) 741-6804, rep.tim.wirgau@capitol.tn.gov

Lesley Swann

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