Montana Healthcare Measure, LR-122 (2012)

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Healthcare Measure
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Type:State statute
State code:Title 50, chapter 4
Referred by:Montana State Legislature
Topic:Healthcare
Status:Approveda
The Montana Healthcare Amendment was on the November 6, 2012 ballot in the state of Montana as a legislatively-referred state statute, where it was approved. The measure allowed residents in the state the choice to decide if they wanted health insurance or not, and which health insurance to buy if they chose to do so. The measure was in response to federal health care mandates that have been passed nationally by President Barack Obama. The proposal was introduced to the Montana Legislature by State Representative Gary MacLaren.[1]

Election results

See also: 2012 ballot measure election results

The following are unofficial election results:

Montana LR-122
ResultVotesPercentage
Approveda Yes 318,612 67.20%
No155,53632.80%

Results are certified and final.

Official results via Montana Secretary of State.

Text of measure

The ballot language that voters saw read:[2]

LEGISLATIVE REFERENDUM NO. 122

AN ACT REFERRED BY THE LEGISLATURE

AN ACT PROHIBITING THE STATE OR FEDERAL GOVERNMENT FROM MANDATING THE PURCHASE OF HEALTH INSURANCE COVERAGE OR IMPOSING PENALTIES FOR DECISIONS RELATED TO THE PURCHASE OF HEALTH INSURANCE COVERAGE; PROVIDING THAT THE PROPOSED ACT BE SUBMITTED TO THE QUALIFIED ELECTORS OF MONTANA; AND PROVIDING AN EFFECTIVE DATE.

LR-122 prohibits the state and federal governments from requiring the purchase of health insurance or imposing any penalty, tax, fee or fine on those who do not purchase health insurance. The prohibition does not apply to: (1) a court which orders the purchase of insurance when an individual or entity is a named party in a judicial dispute; (2) the state department of public health and human services as part of a child support enforcement action; or (3) the Montana university system as a requirement for students.

[] FOR prohibiting the state or federal government from mandating the purchase of health insurance or imposing penalties for decisions related to purchasing health insurance.

[] AGAINST prohibiting the state or federal government from mandating the purchase of health insurance or imposing penalties for decisions related to purchasing health insurance.

Support

  • According to State Representative Gary MacLaren, "Who doesn't have health insurance? People who can't afford it. If they don't [buy health insurance] we're going to fine them. So what are we doing? We're fining people for being poor."[3]
  • State Senator Art Wittich argued in favor of the measure, saying that even though the U.S. Supreme Court backed up that law, the federal government would have to listen if enough states fought it.[4]

Opposition

  • Opponents argued that passing the measure was a moot point because the U.S. Supreme Court had already ruled in the Affordable Care Act's favor. State Representative Chuck Hunter said, "There is going to be nothing that happens anyway because the U.S. Supreme Court has already ruled that the law is constitutional. It is in effect. It is the law of the land. It will go forward in that regard. I think it's time, particularly since the Supreme Court has ruled to move on from that issue, and go about improving the places where the law needs to be improved. That needs to happen at the federal level not the state level."[4]

Path to the ballot

Section 8 of Article XIV of the Montana Constitution says that an affirmative roll call vote of two-thirds of all members of the Montana Legislature is required to refer an amendment to the ballot.

On February 14, 2011, the Montana House endorsed the measure with a party line vote of 68-32 thereby passing the measure on to the ballot.[5]

See also

Additional reading

References