House Bill 353 was introduced by lawmakers March 30, 2010. The “Delaware Health Freedom Act” was filed by 15 Republican legislators and would allow Delawareans to decline to act upon mandates set forward by the healthcare reform bill passed last weekend by Congress. The bill also asks that the state attorney general (currently Beau Biden) enforces the state law should any challenges appear.
The federal healthcare bill has been a source of much speculation since its passing. 14 States to date have filed law suits challenging the constitutionality of the bill while many other states have legislation pending to ensure their residents will not have to comply with federal mandates regarding healthcare. These states claim that in no place in the Constitution does it say that healthcare is a right. Many feel the massive healthcare overhaul recently passed is an intrusion in state rights and question not only its passing but the motives behind it.
House Bill 353 is designed to ensure that all Delawareans are free to choose, or decline to choose, all healthcare with no penalty or threat of penalty. This bill states that Delaware has a right to regulate private healthcare within the borders of the state. It states that only Delaware has this right.
The lead sponsor of the bill is Rep. Deborah Hudson of Fairthorne. Other sponsors of the bill include House Minority Leader Richard Cathcart of Middletown, Senate Minority Leader Gary Simpson of Milford, and recent addition Ruth Briggs King of Georgetown. No Democrats have signed on to the bill to date.
The discussion of penalizing citizens for not buying healthcare has been heard by federal notables including Democrat Nancy Pelosi who has been on record as saying “the legislation (sending people to jail who do not buy health insurance) is very fair”. Discussions like this may be part of why House Bill 353 pursues the Tenth Amendment and announces state sovereignty regarding the right of all residents in “choosing the mode of securing health care services“. It is recommended that residents contact their representatives and inform their offices of how the constituents feel regarding House Bill 353. Contact information may be found here.