For Immediate Release: February 12, 2010
Committee Clears Health Care Protection Proposal
The Senate Health and Human Resources Committee on Thursday approved legislation that would allow Oklahoma voters to choose their own health care system. Senate Joint Resolution 59, authored by Sen. Dan Newberry, would allow voters to approve a constitutional amendment rendering unconstitutional any law or rule that compels any person, employer, or health care provider to participate in any health care system.
“A broad majority of Oklahomans want to retain their freedom of choice regarding access to health care,” said Newberry, R-Tulsa. “This ballot proposal would allow Oklahomans to opt-out of any health care system dictated by Washington, and preserve their freedom to choose a plan that best suits their needs.”
The proposed constitutional amendment would also allow individuals and employers to pay for treatment directly, and allow health care providers to accept payment for treatment directly. Additionally, the amendment allows for the sale and purchase of health insurance in private health care systems. Newberry said lawmakers must find real, workable solutions to improve access to health care
“It’s important that we act to preserve consumer choice, quality health care and existing doctor-patient relationships,” Newberry said. “With Congress still considering a proposal that would mandate when and where citizens can receive medical treatment, we need to give Oklahoma voters the choice to opt-out of any intrusive federal mandates. As lawmakers, we must find real solutions to improving health care access, while ensuring that we do not handicap the state in any way.”
“My hope is that this proposal can provide important protections while we
further the dialogue on the issue.”