Tuesday, January 4, 2011

New Health Care Freedom Act Introduced In South Carolina

A flurry of Health Care Freedom Acts – both as bills and resolutions for state constitutional amendments – have been prefiled for the 2011 legislative session in South Carolina. As of this writing, there are currently 4 that have been introduced. The following are the bill numbers, links to the full text, and a brief overview of the direction of the legislation:

House Bill 3011 (H3011)

A resident of this State, regardless of whether he has or is eligible for health insurance coverage under any policy or program provided by or through his employer, or a plan sponsored by the State or the federal government, must not be required to obtain or maintain a policy of individual insurance coverage. No provision of this title renders a resident of this State liable for any penalty, assessment, fee, or fine as a result of the resident’s failure to procure or obtain health insurance coverage.”

Senate Bill 5 (S0005)

A citizen of this State has the right to purchase health insurance or refuse to purchase health insurance. The government may not interfere with a citizen’s right to purchase health insurance or with a citizen’s right to refuse to purchase health insurance. The government may not enact a law that would restrict these rights or that would impose a form of punishment for exercising either of these rights. Any law to the contrary shall be void ab initio.”

House Bill 3269 (H3269)

It is proposed that Article I of the Constitution of this State be amended by adding:

Section 26. (A) To preserve the freedom of South Carolinians to provide for their health care:

(1) A law, regulation, or rule may not compel, directly or indirectly, any individual, employer, or health care provider to participate in any health care system.

Senate Bill 244 (S0244)

Must Article I of the Constitution of this State, relating to the Declaration of Rights, be amended to preempt any federal law or rule that restricts a person’s choice of private health care providers or the right to pay for medical services?

That’s it – so far. You’ll notice that while a step in the right direction, they all address just the mandated coverage of health care, and none go to the core issue – that the federal government is not authorized by the constitution to be in the health care business. period. A good start for South Carolina, nonetheless. We hope to see a courageous legislator in S.C. take up the banner of the Federal Health Care Nullification Act, as has already been done in Texas.

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