Ohio State Senators Tim Grendell and Shannon Jones have introduced SJR 7, a State Constitutional Amendment “to prohibit a law or rule from compelling a person, employer, or health care provider to participate in a health care system.” If adopted by a majority of the electors voting on this proposal at a special election held February 2, 2010, Section 43 of Article II of the Constitution of the State of Ohio shall take effect immediately.
SJR 7 would deny the ability of any new law to impose demands, restrictions or penalties on health care choices on Ohioans. Versions of proposed federal health care reform legislation have included insurance coverage mandates, and certain penalties on employers who fail to provide employee health insurance.
SJR 7 states, in part:
(1) A law or rule shall not compel, directly or indirectly, any person, employer, or health care provider to participate in any health care system
(2) A person or employer may pay directly for lawful health care services and shall not be required to pay penalties or fines for paying directly for lawful health care services. A health care provider may accept direct payment for lawful health care services and shall not be required to pay penalties or fines for accepting direct payment from a person or employer for lawful health care services.
Sen. Grendell introduced Ohio's state sovereignty resolution SJR 13, which is currently languishing in the House State Government Committee. While I am not enthusiastic about adding more statutory material to the Ohio Constitution, it is clear that federal health care reform is unconstitutional under Article I, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution; but it appears from some news reports I have seen that leading Congressmen and Senators are Constitutionally illiterate. In this case, incorporating SJR7 into the Ohio Constitution will make it clear to all that the people of Ohio will support their General Assembly in nullification of federally-mandated health care.
Dion Lefler of the Wichita Eagle reports that Kansas legislators are considering an amendment to their state constitution to nullify federal health care insurance.
In a pre-emptive strike on national health care, conservative state lawmakers and representatives of the "tea party" movement on Tuesday proposed changing the state Constitution to exempt Kansas from federal health insurance mandates.
"This is about ... preserving (patients') right to make their own individual decisions on health care and protecting the doctor-patient relationship, so that the physician and the patient together can make the best decisions," Rep. Peggy Mast, R- Emporia, said at the Wichita kickoff for the proposition, to be known as the "Health Care Freedom Amendment."
Sen. Mary Pilcher Cook, R-Shawnee, said national health care reform legislation will be "harmful to Kansans, robbing them of their liberty to make their own health care decisions without government interference." Sen. Pilcher-Clark also introduced the Kansas state sovereignty resolution.
Kansas Democrats are launching a petition drive in opposition to the proposal.
Adoption of a Constitutional amendment will require a vote of two-thirds of the legislators in each house, and a majority vote of the electors.
Of course, it's not too late to nip health care reform in the bud by urging our U.S. congressmen and senators to oppose it.