Christian Action League
February 3, 2011
Thursday, after three hours of contentious debate and votes on four different amendments, the North Carolina House approved by a 66-50 margin, HB 2 – Protect Health Care Freedom.
The measure seeks to limit the impact of Obamacare on the state by exempting its citizens from the “individual mandate” requiring all Americans to purchase healthcare insurance or face monetary penalties. The legislation also requires the Attorney General of North Carolina to enforce the bill and join 26 other states in challenging the constitutionality of the federal legislation.
Republican leaders in both chambers made the bill a top priority for the 2011 legislative session.
Democrats argued HB 2 could prevent thousands of people from obtaining health insurance. They also argued the state didn’t need to join the lawsuit against the federal legislation, but should simply let other states do it since the state would be required to abide by whatever the courts decide anyway. Rep. Angela Bryant (D-Nash) said that the bill was nothing more than a “symbolic gesture.”
Former Speaker of the House, Rep. Joe Hackney (D-Orange) argued that HB 2 was about the right to pass one’s healthcare cost on to someone else. Hackney said that was offensive to him.
That argument seemed to be in response to remarks made by Rep. Leo Daughtry (R-Johnston) who had previously said the individual mandate to purchase federal health care insurance was offensive to him and many people in North Carolina.
Democrats also argued the measure had been pushed through without careful consideration. They said a more deliberative process would have required hearings from the medical community and the public.
Republicans countered that few matters had been more thoroughly discussed in recent months than the subject of the healthcare bill passed by Congress and it was clear that most North Carolinians were opposed to the “individual mandate.” Therefore, lawmakers should work quickly to protect their rights, they said.
“There were plenty of reasons given during debate why Democrats and Republicans alike found the federal health care law ‘offensive,’ said Rev. Mark Creech, executive director of the Christian Action League. “But other critical points I thought that were left out of the debate were matters having to do with the moral principle of limited government. Just because someone needs healthcare insurance, there is nothing moral about government using its coercive power to make people purchase it or to help support the needs of someone else getting it. The primary role of government is to protect the God-given rights of the life, liberty and property of the people. Obamacare violates every one of these rights and is the most intrusive piece of legislation ever enacted by the United States Congress.”
The bill now moves to the North Carolina Senate for consideration.
To watch and listen to the debate as recorded by WRAL News click here