Monday, March 25, 2013

Nullification Stalled in the OK State Senate

UPDATE:
Since the writing of this article, it was made known to me that Senator Griffin did not intentionally stall this bill in her committee. The reason it did not get brought up in her committee is because the house version did not meet State Senate specific guidelines so she has asked Senator Natham Dahm to re-write it with specific language to ensure it meets those State Senate specific rules.



Recently the Oklahoma State House of Representatives voted on its own HB 1021, overwhelmingly supporting it 72-20.  This bill, co-authored by representatives Mike Ritze and Nathan Dahm, is the bill that would (to make things plain and simple) give the legislature the necessary power(s) to nullify the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) in the state of Oklahoma.

The bill, however, seems to have stalled in the State Senate due to the action (or rather inaction) of the Rules Committee Chair, A.J. Griffin. She has effectively refused to allow it to be heard in the Rules Committee, which would make it impossible to be heard on the general Senate floor.

As if you did not know, the Affordable Care Act is not a good law. It is unconstitutional (despite what the Supreme Court ruled on it) and would serve to only make health care worse in this country. Furthermore, it will increase insurance premiums and force many employers to downsize their workforce (as it has already done). Employers are having to lay off its workers because they can't afford to provide health care insurance for its workers and can't afford to pay the fines for withholding health care insurance from its employees.  There are many other things wrong with but I won't bother going into them here. Bottom line, it's a bad law and would serve the state of Oklahoma well to nullify it. By nullifying this law, it essentially prevents enforcement of this federal law in the state of Oklahoma.

HB 1021 states that the Affordable Care Act and it's related law, the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act, are not violates the U.S. Constitution and are "hereby declared to be invalid in the State of Oklahoma" and "shall not be recognized by this state, are specifically rejected by this state, and shall be considered null and void.."

So if the will of the people have been expressed through their representatives in the state House of Representatives, why would the Senate Rules Committee Chair refuse to let it be heard?

The answer, of course, is money and politics.

You see, the insurance industry in Oklahoma stands to make quite a bit of money off of Obamacare. With that in mind, they would certainly be greasing the pockets of several legislators in order to ensure that nullification does not happen. So it stands to reason that, in theory, Senator Griffin might have chosen to ignore this bill at the behest of the Oklahoma insurance industry. That would be my best guess.  She is willing to let this bill die before it even gets a chance to be voted on.

Does Senator Griffin represent the insurance industry or the people of Oklahoma?

Here is her contact information if you would like to write or call her office and show your concern:

Senator AJ Griffin
405.521.5628
griffin@oksenate.gov



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