In March, the GOP legislative attempts to thwart the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act were considered a fantastic hope.
Known nationwide as a “Health Care Freedom Amendment,” proposals by State Representatives Brian Calley, R-Portland, and Justin Amash, R-Cascade, to change the constitution and repeal the national health care law never got to a vote as they were squashed by the Democrats.
But Calley is now part of the Republican takeover of state government. He’s the Lt. Governor-elect under Rick Snyder and the GOP has a super majority in the Senate and a strong majority in the House.
Time for a second shot?
Calley said Tuesday that he continues to support his proposal to implement a HCFA in Michigan. His House Joint Resolution CC seeks to change the state constitution to stipulate that a federal law or rule cannot compel any person, employer or health care provider to participate in any health care system. But he said he hadn’t talked to Snyder specifically about if they plan to try to thwart the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, sometimes referred to as “Obamacare.”
“I would expect it to get a fair chance,” Calley said.
But he noted that his proposal calls for a constitutional amendment, which would require a two-thirds super majority in the House and Senate, and then a majority vote of the citizens. The governor has no formal role with such a proposal, as it goes directly from the Legislature to the people for ratification.
With newly-acquired majority control of the state’s House of Representative, and a takeover of the governor’s office, Republicans need only majority votes and a governor’s signature to pass a HCFA as legislation.
State Rep. Dave Agema, R-Grandville, said he’ll introduce legislation to thwart the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act if others balked.
“I’m totally against Obamacare,” Agema said.
State Rep. Rick Jones, R-Grand Ledge, said he would be in favor of new proposal similar to House Joint Resolution CC.
Wendy Day of Common Sense in Government led an unsuccessful effort to get 381,000 signatures on a petition to put the constitutional amendment on the ballot as a citizen-initiated proposal.
Day says she thought people were “very nervous” about the new GOP-led legislature that takes over in January.
“People are not that confident that they will do the things that need to be done to save our state, including fighting back against the federal government,” Day said. “The voters will be looking for early indicators that this Republican-controlled government is going to honor the trust that they have been given.”