Yesterday, Georgia State Representatives, Jason Spencer of Woodbine Georgia held a press conference to introduce HB 707 , The Georgia Health Care Freedom and ACA Noncompliance Act. David Stover, Scot Turner, and Michael Caldwell were present and cosponsors.
Full press conference available at this link.
In his opening statement, Rep. Spencer said (YouTube link), “Our taxpayer paid institutions have started implementing ObamaCare in the state of Georgia and that goes against the wishes of elected representatives and the people that we serve (Applause). He outlined the general provisions contained in HB 707.
In his statement, Rep. Stover said (YouTube link) that the ObamaCare hit to Georgia was very hard. As of November 30th, 400,000 individual had lost their health insurance. This was second highest in the nation only to California, which has four times our population.
The opening statement of HB 707 says, “The General Assembly finds that: The people of the several states comprising the United States of America created the federal government to be their agent for certain enumerated purposes, and nothing more.” This makes a strong statement for federalism, one of the founding principles upon which our country founded.
The bill also states, “The assumption of power that the federal government has made by enacting the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 interferes with the right of the people of the State of Georgia to regulate health care as they see fit and makes a mockery of James Madison's assurance in Federalist No. 45 that the ‘powers delegated’ to the federal government are ‘few and defined,’ while those of the states are ‘numerous and indefinite.’”
The provisions read as follows:
- to prohibit powers, assets, employees, agents, or contractors of the state or any political subdivision, municipality, or other local government authority from engaging in an activity that aids any agency in the enforcement of provisions of the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010;
- to endow the Attorney General with authority to bring suit to enjoin violations of such prohibition and issue advisory rulings;
- to provide that neither the State of Georgia nor any of its political subdivisions shall establish a health care exchange for the purchase of health insurance nor participate in or purchase insurance from a health care exchange established by a nonprofit organization;
- to provide that no agency, department, or other state entity shall authorize an employee, contractor, vendor, or any other person acting on behalf of such agency, department, or entity to undertake any action under the aegis of Section 2951 of the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 or a process established pursuant to such act;
Representative Spencer said that these measures “will prohibit the state of Georgia from participating in the destruction of our economy.”
On the first day of the next legislative session, they plan to introduce another bill that would have Georgia join a lawsuit to overturn the decision of the U.S. Supreme Court, which upheld the federal law.
Carolyn Cosby is the director of http://georgiansforhealthcarefreedom.org/. Her organization has collected over 34,000 signatures in support of the bill. GFHCF web site lists, “such notables as Governor Deal and insurance Commissioner Ralph Hudgens
have signed along with Congressman Bob Barr, Paul Broun, Tom Price and Phil Gingrey.”
She was present at the press conference and said, “Our State Representatives have heard the call of the people to protect us against this federal mandate that is hurting our families in Georgia. The sheer volume of signatures demand legislative action.”
Media covered the meeting nationally and throughout the state:
- The Washington Times reports that the legislation is, “Based on the Tenth Amendment Center’s four-step plan to nullify Obamacare on a state-level, the legislation would ban state participation, assistance, or any material support for the Affordable Care Act.”
- The Macon Telegraph – State lawmakers launch new attack on Affordable Care Act, “‘But Spencer’s approach is on sound legal footing,’ said Mercer University law professor David Oedel. ‘No state can declare a federal law null and void. But the federal government, by its own terms, can’t commandeer the states to do its own bidding.’”
- Time-Georgia of Carroll County reported that State Rep. Roger Bruce, D-Atlanta, joined Gardner in condemning the GOP plan. “A state cannot pass a law that overrides federal law,” Bruce said.
- WCTV – Georgia Lawmakers Plan Legislation To Block Care Act
- WABE – GOP Lawmakers Seek to Block Georgia Implementation of Federal Healthcare Law
- Paulding Pundit – Blocking ObamaCare Implementation in Georgia
Interestingly a Google search did not reveal an article from The Atlanta Journal Constitution. Perhaps they though it not newsworthy or did not wanting to report on something that did not fit their political agenda.
Most of the supporters were Tea Party members. This demonstrates that the tea party movement is not just about meetings and education. It is also about activism and change.
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