Contact: Public Affairs Department
Louisiana Senate Passes Health Care Freedom Act
Becomes first state with a Democrat legislature to oppose individual mandate
June 21, 2010
Washington, D.C.— Last Friday, June 18, 2010, Louisiana became the first state with a Democrat-controlled legislature to oppose a requirement to purchase health insurance—the centerpiece of President Barack Obama’s health reform agenda. Louisiana House Bill 1474, which passed the Louisiana Senate with strong bipartisan support, will soon head to Gov. Bobby Jindal’s desk. The measure is modeled after the American Legislative Exchange Council’s (ALEC) Freedom of Choice in Health Care Act now introduced or announced in 42 states.
House Bill 1474, which was supported by 14 House Democrats and 12 Senate Democrats, states that “No resident of this state, regardless of whether he has or is eligible for health insurance coverage under any policy or program provided by or through his employer, or a plan sponsored by the state or the federal government, shall be required to obtain or maintain a policy of individual health insurance coverage.” The measure faced a tough battle in the Senate, where sponsors conceded to an amendment that may hamper Louisiana’s ability to file an additional 10th Amendment-based lawsuit against the federal health reform law.
“Today, Louisiana sends a clear message to the President and Congress that there is broad, bipartisan opposition to the centerpiece of their health reform agenda,” said ALEC Health Task Force Director Christie Herrera, who is coordinating the nationwide effort.
“ALEC congratulates Representative Kirk Talbot, free-market think tank The Pelican Institute, and the Louisiana Grassroots Network for their work in rejecting an unconstitutional overreach into the health care decisions of Louisianans,” Herrera added.
ALEC’s Freedom of Choice in Health Care Act has already been enacted in statute form by theVirginia, Idaho, Arizona, and Georgia legislatures, and constitutional amendments or referenda will appear on the ballot in Oklahoma, Arizona, Florida, and Missouri. Active citizen initiatives are also underway in Colorado, Michigan, and Mississippi.
A complete map with links to the legislation in each state is available online at www.alec.org.