North Carolina Becomes First State in 2011 to Send Health Freedom Bill to Governor’s Desk
WASHINGTON, D.C. (Feb. 16, 2011) – The North Carolina Senate today approved House Bill 2 (HB2), sending the legislation to Gov. Bev Perdue for her signature. North Carolina is the first state in 2011 to bring legislation modeled after the American Legislative Exchange Council’s (ALEC) Freedom of Choice in Health Care Act to a governor’s desk. This legislation protects the rights of citizens to pay directly for medical care, and would prohibit the government from penalizing North Carolinians for failing to purchase health care.
“I am proud of North Carolina for leading the nation in bringing this bill to the governor’s desk,” said Rep. Paul Stam, sponsor of HB2. “It shows the concern citizens and legislators have to protect their right to decide whether and how they purchase health care. There is no time like the present to fight against excessive federal power. We will continue to do so in North Carolina. I hope Gov. Perdue hears the people.”
A statutory measure designed to block the federal individual mandate, HB2 would give standing to a state participating in current litigation, allow a state to launch additional 10th Amendment-based litigation, and empower a state attorney general to protect individuals in 2014 once the mandate goes into effect. ALEC applauds this measure as a solid state-level guard against ObamaCare’s excessive federal power and a cornerstone in producing health care reform that is based on the protection of patient’s rights.
“HB 2 is important for North Carolinians, as well as all Americans in providing the ultimate exit strategy at a time when we are faced with an unconstitutional federal requirement to purchase health insurance,” said ALEC Health Task Force Director Christie Herrera, who is coordinating the nationwide effort. “It is a step in making ObamaCare more constitutionally vulnerable as states defend and protect their citizens.”
In the 2010 session, 42 states have either filed or announced their intention to file legislation similar to North Carolina’s HB2, and seven states have passed the legislation via statute or constitutional amendment. An interactive map with more information on recent legislative activity is available at www.alec.org/focamap.
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The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) is the nation’s largest nonpartisan individual membership association of state legislators, with nearly 2,000 state legislators across the nation and more than 100 alumni members in Congress. ALEC’s mission is to promote free markets, individual liberty, and federalism through its model legislation in the states.
Christie Herrera is director of ALEC’s Health and Human Services Task Force. She has been a key figure in galvanizing state pushback against the federal requirement to purchase health insurance, and is the author of The State Legislators Guide to Repealing ObamaCare.