There is some confusion over the bills so here is the inside baseball.
There are two bills and a Constitutional Amendment. One bill and the Constitutional Amendment are now dead.
(HB2622/SB2560)I filed the Health Care Freedom Act on January 14th and gave the Senate companion to Senator Diane Black. My bill is model legislation from the American Legislative Exchange Council (http://www.alec.org/). I am a Task Force Chairman at ALEC. We worked on this bill all last summer and fall through conference calls – then passed it as national model legislation at ALEC’s December meeting in Washington DC. It is being run all over the country and has passed in many states. The Attorney General opined that my bill is Constitutional.
HB3433/SB3498) Senator Beavers filed another version of the bill on January 28, one which she also named the Health Care Freedom Act. She gave the House companion bill to Rep. Harwell to run. Harwell felt bad when she realized that Beavers had filed a bill similar to mine so she asked me to take over the bill. I refused saying I was concerned about political appearances. So after a couple of more weeks of talking it over, Harwell gave the bill to Rep. Bell on 2/22/10. It was found to be un-Constitutional by the AG. Beavers has stated that her bill is not the ALEC model legislation however it was created by an ALEC state chairman.
HJR745 - I also filed a Constitutional Amendment, called the Health Care Freedom Act, to amend the Tennessee Constitution to do the same thing.
Both bills and the Constitutional Amendment made it out of Industrial Impact Committee and the Commerce Committee in the House. Bell’s bill (Mae’s) and my Constitutional Amendment made it to the Finance Committee. Bell’s bill died in Finance because the Speaker voted against it. He said because it is unconstitutional and because Rep. Odom read something out of the federal legislation that influenced him. My Constitutional Amendment died in Finance too.
My Health Care Freedom Act bill made it to the Calendar and Rules Committee (it didn’t have to go to Finance Com) where it has averted death many times and been held up waiting for my Senate sponsor to take action on the bill. At this point, all of the Senate committees are closed so right now the bill cannot be run. However, my Senate sponsor says she is working hard to get a committee open so she can run the bill. I hope so.
Speaker Williams voted for my bill in Calendar and Rules Committee yesterday afternoon because it is Constitutional - so now the bill is on the floor calendar. To get the bill voted out of Calendar Committee, and close the debate so we could take the vote or else the Democrats would have prevented us from calling the question indefinately, I had to promise that I won’t run the bill on the floor unless the Senate version makes it out of the Senate Committee.
I hope and pray that the bill makes it out of the Senate committee…stay tuned.
In addition, I filed HJR704, to send a message to Congress about the health care bill and their mandates on us. It was a HUGE two hour floor fight to get it passed. So far, it has not passed in the Senate either. I hope you will watch the video of the floor fight. It was a battle but I really loved defending this legislation.
GOLDWATER INSTITUTE'S NOTES
ALEC'S NOTES ON BILL