Ga. legislators: Amend state constitution to stop federal takeover of health care

ATLANTA – A pair of state legislators are proposing an amendment to the state constitution they say will “protect individuals’ right to make their own health care choices.”

The legislation would allow residents to buy their own medical care and would prohibit anyone from facing punishment for “not purchasing government-defined insurance,” the state legislators say. Voters statewide would need to approve the amendment should the general assembly pass the proposed legislation.

“If Congress’ proposed government option mandate becomes law, then the federal government will become a significant decision maker in Georgians’ medical care,” state Sen. Judson Hill, R-Marietta, said in a news release. “This Constitutional Amendment will preserve Georgians’ right to make their own health care and health insurance choices.”

The “Health Care Freedom of Choice Constitutional Amendment” is modeled on the American Legislative Exchange Council’s (ALEC) Freedom of Choice in Health Care Act. Fourteen other states – including Alabama, Ohio and South Carolina – have filed similar legislation, the legislators said.

“The time has come for us, as citizens and Georgia as a sovereign state, to stand up to the federal government and stop these mandates that trample individual rights,” state Rep. Calvin Hill, R-Canton, said in a news release. “The 10th amendment specifically states, ‘The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.’ We, as elected representatives must do what we can to ensure these basic rights for the citizens of Georgia.”

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