The 26th Alaska State Legislature, 2009 - 2010||
Sponsor Statement: House Joint Resolution 35
Constitutional Am.: Health Care
“Proposing amendments to the Constitution of the State of Alaska prohibiting passage of laws that interfere with direct payments for health care services and the right to purchase health care insurance from a privately owned company, and that compel a person to participate in a health care system.”
Posted: February 9, 2010 : v26-LS1063\R
Bill Version: HJR 35(FLD H)
Status: Failed (H) : 2010-04-15
HJR 35 would give Alaskans the opportunity to vote on a Constitutional Amendment prohibiting the passage of laws that would force any person or employer to participate in a particular health care system or plan. Similar measures are under consideration in 35 states.
The Health Care Freedom Act seeks to protect two essential rights. First, it would protect a person's right to participate or not in any health care system, and it would prohibit the government from imposing fines or penalties because of that person's decision. Second, it would protect the right of an individual to purchase – and the right of doctors to provide – lawful medical services without government fines or penalties. HJR 35 would place these essential rights in the state constitution.
Few Alaskans question the need for effective health care reform to improve access, quality and affordability while ensuring that personal health care is patient-driven. Advocates of a larger government role in regulating and providing health insurance and care support forcing individuals to join a government-approved health insurance plan, whether or not they want it, can afford it, or it best meets their personal needs. But the overwhelming majority of Alaskans oppose this mandate.
If the federal government adopts nationalized health care and a significant block of states change their constitutions to protect their citizens, a legal clash may well be winnable for the states. This United States Supreme Court may just be in the mood to protect individual liberty and state sovereignty in such a private matter as personal health care.