Thursday, May 6, 2010

Oklahoma, Georgia Send Health Care Freedom Act to Governor's Desk

/PRNewswire/ -- Yesterday, the Republican-controlled Oklahoma legislature sent House Joint Resolution 1054, the Freedom of Healthcare Choice Act, to Democrat Governor Brad Henry's desk. The statutory measure--which prohibits a federal requirement to purchase health insurance and allows the legislature to hire outside counsel in a lawsuit against federal health reform--was also supported by nine Oklahoma House Democrats. And last week, Georgia's legislature sent similar legislation, Senate Bill 411, to the governor's desk. Both measures are modeled after the American Legislative Exchange Council's (ALEC) Freedom of Choice in Health Care Act now introduced or announced in 42 states.

"The fallout from ObamaCare continues to fuel rebellion in the states," said ALEC health task force director Christie Herrera, who is coordinating the nationwide effort.

"ALEC applauds Oklahoma and Georgia's lawmakers for protecting their citizens from abusive federal power when other state officials will not," Herrera added. Last month, Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue also appointed special counsel to represent Georgia in the multi-state challenge of the federal health reform law.

ALEC's Freedom of Choice in Health Care Act has already been enacted in statute form by the Virginia, Idaho, and Arizona legislatures, and constitutional amendments in Oklahoma, Arizona, and Florida will appear before voters on the November ballot.

In addition to the Georgia and Oklahoma statutes on the governor's desk, Freedom of Choice in Health Care Act statutes have also been passed by one chamber in the Missouri and Tennessee legislatures. And active citizen initiatives are underway in Colorado, Michigan, and Mississippi.

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