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Senate approves Oklahoma health care measure, heads to House
OKLAHOMA CITY, Oklahoma: The Oklahoma State Senate approved a bill, with a vote of 30-13 on May 5, 2010, that would allow state voters to decide whether or not to opt out of federal health care mandates. The measure would be placed on the November 2, 2010 ballot as a legislatively-referred constitutional amendment. The measure now heads to the House in order to be sent to the ballot. According to reports, the Governor of Oklahoma does not need to sign the bill in order for it to be placed up for a public vote.
With United States President Barack Obama signing a newly passed federal health care bill into law on March 23, 2010, many states prepared themselves to combat the health care mandates that are on the verge of taking place across the country.
Oklahoma is just one of many states that is considering measures such as this. According to Randy Brogdon, when commenting on the federal health care bill, "I believe it is unconstitutional for the government to mandate when and where citizens purchase health insurance."
On the other side of the argument, according to University of Oklahoma constitutional law professor Joseph Thai, "Unless the federal legislation specifically allows states to go their own way, Oklahoma can no more 'opt out' of a federal health care mandate than it can opt out of federal civil rights laws."
- Business Week, "Deadline for Oklahoma budget deal fast approaching," May 10, 2010
- Tulsa World, "Oklahoma Senate approves 'opt-out' health-care option, can't override gun-bill veto," May 5, 2010 (dead link)
- Fox News, "Obama to Sign Landmark Health Reform Bill," March 23, 2010
- CNN, "Obama signs health care reform bill, aims to promote it on the road," March 23, 2010
- The Alva Review-Courier, "Healthcare opt out approved by Senate," March 23, 2010