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Gatto, Judiciary Questioning Constitutionality of Federal Healthcare Reform Package in HB 423


House Judiciary, Gatto challenge

Constitutionality of federal healthcare mandate

Thursday, April 1, 2010, Juneau, Alaska – This week the House Judiciary Committee introduced House Bill 423, the Health Freedom Act. Representative Carl Gatto, R-Palmer, requested the legislation to address concerns about the constitutionality of the federal healthcare reform package recently signed into law.

“The Tenth Amendment is clear that rights not explicitly granted to the federal government are reserved to the States and the people,” Gatto said. “Few individual rights are more fundamental than the right to determine one’s personal health and finances.”

HB 423 affirms Alaskan’s freedom to choose or decline any mode of securing healthcare services. It also prohibits state employers and officials from imposing or collecting fees for asserting this right, and instructs the Attorney General to defend those provisions in court.

“This legislation brings Alaska in alignment with 14 other states that have filed suit to challenge this new federal law,” Gatto said. “As more states sign on, the court challenge will become a matter of national importance. It is imperative that Alaska lends its voice to this debate.”

HB 423 was referred to the House Health & Social Services and Judiciary Committees.
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