to what some opponents see as a Congress that doesn’t represent
their interests, State Legislators are looking to the nearly forgotten
American political tradition of nullification
as a way to reject any potential national health care program that
may be coming from Washington.
In 2010, residents
of Arizona will be voting on a State Constitutional Amendment
that would let them effectively opt out of any proposed national
health care plan.
And now, Missouri
is joining them. According to a report
in The Missourian, "Rep. Cynthia Davis, R-O’Fallon,
pre-filed a bill Dec. 1 that, if approved by voters, would effectively
put a halt on any national health care legislation. Davis said her
intent was to give voters a way to protect themselves."
The bill, HJR48,
"Proposes a constitutional amendment which would prohibit compelling
a person to participate in any health care system."
the freedom of citizens of this state to provide for their health
care, no law or rule shall compel, directly or indirectly or through
penalties or fines, any person, employer, or health care provider
to participate in any health care system. A person or employer may
pay directly for lawful health care services and shall not be required
to pay penalties or fines for paying directly for lawful health
care services. A health care provider may accept direct payment
for lawful health care services and shall not be required to pay
penalties or fines for accepting direct payment from a person or
employer for lawful health care services. Subject to reasonable
and necessary rules that do not substantially limit a person’s options,
the purchase or sale of health insurance in private health care
systems shall not be prohibited by law or rule."
A HISTORY LESSON
behind such legislation is nullification, which has a long
history in the American tradition. When a state ‘nullifies’
a federal law, it is proclaiming that the law in question is void
and inoperative, or ‘non-effective,’ within the boundaries of that
state; or, in other words, not a law as far as the state is concerned.
movements began with the Virginia
Resolutions of 1798. These resolutions, secretly authored by Thomas
Jefferson and James Madison, asserted that the people of the states,
as sovereign entities, could judge for themselves whether the federal
government had overstepped its constitutional bounds – to the
point of ignoring federal laws.