"This legislation will give Congress and President Barack Obama pause to see this strong show of opposition to the federal legislation," Representative Mike Ritze, (R-Broken Arrow), the House author of the resolution said. Ritz, a physician and a surgeon said. "In Oklahoma, there is great opposition to mandating that everyone buy expensive health insurance. The federal system represents a radical change towards socialized medicine and could easily hurt rural Oklahoma’s access to quality care. That’s why we are going to do our best to fight it."
House Joint Resolution 1054 would protect any person, employer or health care provider in Oklahoma from being compelled (forced) to participate in any health care system. It also prevents Oklahomans from being financially penalized (fined) if they choose not to purchase insurance mandated by the federal health care plan, and doctors would still be allowed to accept direct payment without fear of financial penalty.
The Resolution also gave the legislature the authority to sue the federal government over the health care bill. Because Attorney General Drew Edmondson refused to join other states in suing the feds over the behemoth health care bill, the legislature had to take matters into their own hands.
A couple of thoughts on the health care mandate passed by Congress and why Oklahomans should have the option of saying, ‘no thanks’ to ObamaCare:
First, nowhere in the United States Constitution does it say health care is a federal granted ‘right.’ Sure, it’s nice to have good health care when you are sick. The fact is most Americans enjoy excellent health care. According to the Congressional Budget Office, America is spending 16-18 percent of the GDP on health care. But access to good health care is not a constitutionally guaranteed right- it is a privilege. Health care wasn’t included in the ‘bill of rights,’ but in our entitlement society, some believe anything they ‘want’ is a right.
What’s the difference between a right and privilege? A right is "something that is due to a person by law, tradition, or nature. A privilege is "a special benefit given to a person.” Our Creator does not endow us with the right to life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness and good health care. Good health care may make us happier and help us live longer, but it is not a right in spite of what some say.
U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders, (I-Vermont) would disagree. Sanders, a liberal who caucuses with the Democrats, believes health care is a civil right. Sanders says, “at the end of the day, as difficult as it may be, the fight for a national health care program will prevail. Like the civil rights movement, the struggle for women's rights and other grass-roots efforts, justice in this country is often delayed - but it will not be denied. We shall overcome! “ Sanders’ argument has many problems, not the least of which is- ‘who will pay for it?’ The answer is the taxpayers and the bill will be expensive. If you think health care was expensive before the government got involved, wait until the government is running it.
Second, the misconception the ‘Commerce Clause’ of the Constitution grants the power to the federal government to promote a particular business is asinine. The Commerce Clause was added to allow states to conduct ‘interstate’ business anyway they wanted and therefore promote capitalism. Health insurance didn’t even exist at that time. Obamacare requires all individuals to purchase health insurance and the government has never required people to buy any good or service as a condition of lawful residence in the United States.
Experts believe there is a better than odds on chance the federal health care bill will be overturned by the courts for violating the U.S. Constitution. But, in the meantime, the Oklahoma legislature did the right thing by giving Oklahomans the option to opt out.