As one option failed, two GOP lawmakers are trying again to put a roadblock up against the federal health care law that mandates every American have health care insurance.
Wendy Day, President of Common Sense In Government, spearheaded the petition drive to have an amendment to the state's Constitution that would repeal many aspects of the nationalized health care bill. The movement fell far short of the 380,000 signatures needed. Day estimated between 145,000 and 185,000 signatures were obtained.
Since President Barack Obama signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act into law March 23, many critics have been trying to find ways to repeal it on the state level.
State Senator Wayne Kuipers, R-Holland, and House Representative Tom McMillin, R-Rochester Hills, said they will bring their own versions of the Healthcare Freedom Act to the legislature.
Kuipers said he hopes to have the Senate version introduced later this month, perhaps as early as July 21.
It would allow Michigan residents to opt out of a single-payer government-based insurance, which McMillin said he thinks will eventually become a reality.
Kuipers' Senate Joint Resolution K would amend the state constitution and reaffirm a right to access independent health care. It was defeated in March but did get 24 votes, two short of the 26 required.
McMillin said newly proposed Healthcare Freedom Act wouldn't go as far as changing the state Constitution.
"It just means citizens can opt out if they want to," McMillin said. "It doesn't have a 'secede from the union' or have the state opt out. It doesn't mean anyone has to come out of Obamacare. It doesn't seem very controversial to me. It doesn't seem anti-Obama care. It's just pro-freedom."
Jack McHugh, senior legislative analyst for the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, wrote that he didn't expect the bill to make it out of the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives.
"The measure will not receive any consideration in the current House, because the majority perceives it as a "slap" to what they view to be "their" President's signal accomplishment," McHugh wrote. "The initiative's effect would be unambiguous on the state level and speculative on the national. It would absolutely prohibit any future Michigan governor and legislature from imposing a state individual or employer health insurance mandate like Massachusetts, or a ban on non-government health care like in Canada. Whether it would prevent enforcement of the federal mandates here is another question. The individual mandate will surely come before the U.S. Supreme Court regardless of what Michigan does. It's possible to imagine a ruling that empowers a state prohibition without wiping away the mandate altogether, but that's highly speculative."