As the federal debate heats up over healthcare, states are slowly taking matters in their own hands with legislation that in affect goes against current healthcare reform proposals.
Virginia became the first state to enact legislation to prevent its residents from being mandated to purchase health insurance or participate in any healthcare system.
37 other states that have similar bills pending or have announced that they will introduce this legislation.
Under the legislation, any state attempt to require an individual to purchase health insurance – or forbid an individual from purchasing services outside of the required healthcare system – would be rendered unconstitutional.
Many have said that such laws are themselves unconstitutional, however, as they are intended to nullify federal laws. Nullification is an extraconstitutional procedure that was employed in the early 19th century by states in the Old Confederacy.
The Freedom of Choice in Healthcare Act has already been filed or pre-filed in 33 states: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.
Lawmakers in an additional four states – Montana, North Carolina, Rhode Island, and Utah – have publicly announced their intentions to file the legislation. A citizen-led initiative has also been announced in Colorado.
So even if it is unconstitutional, is any one getting the message here? Hello McFly! People obviously do not want what is being bantered about in Washington. My stance – it is absolutely a moral imperative to insure every American. That said, what is being passed is not healthcare reform. It does not solve a single systemic issue. And in fact when the flood gates of patients open, the system will be ill-equipped to handle it.