Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Ritze Files Obamacare Nullification Legislation

Rep. Mike Ritze has filed legislation to effectively nullify the new federal health care law and allow felony charges against individuals attempting to enforce it in Oklahoma.

“The federal health care law is clearly an unconstitutional infringement on the rights of U.S. citizens,” said Ritze, a Broken Arrow Republican who is one of only two doctors serving in the Oklahoma Legislature.

“As a result, the state of Oklahoma must act aggressively to stop this unconstitutional power grab.”

House Bill 1276, by Ritze, notes that the Tenth Amendment of the United States Constitution defines the total scope of federal powers “as being those which have been delegated by the people of the several states to the federal government, and all powers not delegated to the federal government in the Constitution of the United States are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people themselves.”The bill then notes that the assumption of federal power made with passage of the “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act” and “Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010” is “nowhere expressly granted by the United States Constitution and interferes with the right of the people of the State of Oklahoma to regulate health care as they see fit.”

Because those two federal laws were “not authorized by the Constitution of the United States,” the bill then declares them to be “invalid in the State of Oklahoma” and states that they “shall not be recognized by this state, are specifically rejected by this state, and shall be considered null and void and of no effect in this state.”

Under House Bill 1276, any official, agent, or employee of the United States government who attempts to enforce the new federal health care law could face felony charges carrying a penalty of up to five years in prison and a fine of $5,000. Under the bill, any state government official attempting to impose and enforce the federal statutes could face misdemeanor charges carrying a penalty of up to two years in jail and a $1,000 fine.

Oklahoma citizens forced to abide by the new federal health care law would also be allowed to sue individuals enforcing the law. Ritze said similar legislation has been filed in at least six other states. Last year, he authored legislation to allow a public vote to opt out of the federal health care law’s individual mandate. The measure passed in November with overwhelming public support.

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