The Palmetto Insider

The blog of the South Carolina Policy Council

Health Care Choice for Louisiana and Georgia – But Not South Carolina

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Louisiana has become the first state with a Democrat-controlled legislature to pass the Freedom of Choice in Health Care Act. The law makes it the public policy of Louisiana, “consistent with our constitutionally recognized and inalienable right of liberty, that every person … is and shall be free from governmental intrusion in choosing or declining to choose any mode of securing health insurance coverage without penalty.” The law also prohibits the state from imposing a penalty on persons who choose not to purchase health insurance.

As reported by the Pelican Institute, however, the legislation was amended such that it should not be read to supersede the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010. That said, the statute bolsters the state’s current lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of ObamaCare. Along with South Carolina, Louisiana is 1 of 20 states suing the federal government over the constitutionality of a new federal law requiring all Americans to purchase health insurance.  

In a recent poll, a majority of Louisiana voters gave George W. Bush higher marks (50 percent) for his handling of Hurricane Katrina than they did Obama’s response (35 percent) to the recent BP oil spill. These numbers may explain why even La. Democrats are wary of opposing voters who are also unhappy about federal health care legislation. 

Here in South Carolina, the state’s Republican-led legislature failed to pass similar legislation. Although lawmakers introduced a variety of measures aimed at protecting the right to purchase health care services, none of these received a vote on the floor of either chamber. (One joint resolution (H 4181) was read on the floor of the House and then contested, with the result that debate was repeatedly adjourned.)

Meanwhile, the law has passed in 4 states, including Georgia and Virginia.

To read more about this legislation, see the testimony the Policy Council provided to the Senate and House subcommittees in March:

Five Things You Need to Know About the S.C. Freedom of Choice in Health Care Act

VIDEO: Policy Council Senate Judiciary Subcommittee Testimony

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Written by Jameson Taylor

June 23, 2010 at 10:29 am

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