more stupidity in red stick
in other news (yes there is more dumb happening elsewhere)
That’s right, didya forget? The legislature is still in session, wrecking havoc on the citizens of the gret stet
House votes to nullify federal health insurance mandate in Louisiana
By Bill Barrow, The Times-Picayune
May 13, 2010, 6:16PM
The House of Representatives voted 59-15 today to declare that Louisiana residents should not be subject to the looming mandate to buy health insurance, an anchor provision of President Barack Obama’s recently enacted health care overhaul.
Both the debate and the vote fell along party lines, with a handful of Democrats joining Republicans to forge a majority. Several other Democrats chose not to vote, a tacit admission of the political difficulty, particularly for white Democrats, of associating with a president who is overwhelmingly unpopular among white Louisiana voters.
House Bill 1474 states that every Louisiana resident “is and shall be free from governmental intrusion in choosing or declining to choose any mode of securing health insurance coverage without penalty or threat of penalty.”
Sponsor Kirk Talbot, R-River Ridge, said he wants to challenge a Congress that he believes has exceeded its authority under the commerce clause of the U.S. Constitution. “Congress does not have the right to mandate that private citizens enter into a contract with private business,” he said. The commerce clause, he said, allows federal regulation of economic activity but “not inactivity.”
Opponents said Talbot and Republicans are taking a pointless slap at Obama and trying to set up Louisiana Democrats for future campaign attacks.
Rep. Walker Hines, D-New Orleans, read to Talbot the supremacy clause, a constitutional passage widely interpreted to give Washington a trump card over states.
Rep. Cedric Richmond, D-New Orleans, reminded his colleagues that cries of states’ rights and hand-wringing over federal authority have come up before in American political and social debates. Richmond, who is black, did not cite slavery or the civil rights movement, but he said, “If that (argument) had carried the day, I wouldn’t be here. I wouldn’t have been elected. I wouldn’t have gone to Tulane.”
Representatives added a curve ball to the measure with an amendment from Democratic Rep. Fred Mills, a St. Martin Parish pharmacist, that would bar the state from paying for hospital care of anyone who refuses the federal mandate that will go into effect Jan. 1, 2014.
The amendment has provisions to allow the state to recover from those patients the cost of care and to prohibit the state’s uncompensated-care fund from paying providers for that care. The latter provision could be read to effectively gut one the state’s primary mechanisms of financing the charity hospital system.
Mills said that is not necessarily his intention. But, he said, “If you want this freedom, then you’re on your own. … You want your freedom? Don’t come to Charity Hospital” for treatment.
Mills was among the Democrats who voted for the bill’s final passage.
Talbot filed his statute after it became clear that his more sweeping constitutional amendment, House Bill 94, could not get the needed 70 votes. The amendment includes language that suggests Louisianians could opt out of Medicare taxes, a point that Democrats were certain to hammer.
Talbot has not ruled out pushing for a vote on the amendment regardless. The statute, meanwhile, heads to the Senate.