KILL THE BILL – Wait, wrong bill – HB 353 update

Wednesday, May 12th, 2010, was a day that Delawareans lost a large portion of their civil rights yet many don’t even realize it. House Bill 353 was killed in committee by a vote of three to two. For those who are unaware, HB 353 would have allowed Delawareans to opt out of buying health insurance when the new federal mandates begin based on the bill passed on March 21st, 2010.
The bill, sponsored by Rep. Deborah Hudson and 14 others, would allow Delaware to exercise its state sovereignty in choosing the mode of health care. Currently, 20 stateshave joined in a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the health care overhaul while a total of 38 states have legislation pending regarding their own state sovereignty.
The committee which voted on killing the Delaware Health Freedom Act (HB 353) was comprised ofRep. Peter Schwartzkopf (D), Rep. Robert Gilligan (D), Rep. Valerie Longhurst (D), Rep. Richard Cathcart (R), and Rep. Daniel Short (R). One wonders what Schwartzkopf’s new fan club,onlywhenpigsfly.org, will think of his barely veiled contempt for state sovereignty. HB 353 was killed along party lines; with Schwartzkopf’s opposition in the upcoming election, Chris Weeks, having formally announced his candidacy on May 5th, one wonders if Schwartzkopf made the correct decision. Schwartzkopf is on record with Delawareonline.com saying that “one of his reasons for opposing the measure is cost”. He may find that the cost of the lawsuit he is trying to avoid will be comparatively little when considering the number of lawsuits the state might be dealing with when they try to mandate health insurance on its citizens.
The Delaware House of Representatives Minority Caucus quotes Schwartzkopf as stating after the vote “I have some reservations about the separation of powers thing”.
The 9-12 Delaware Patriots had taken initiative when the Delaware Health Freedom Act was published, gathering over 3,000 signatures in a little over a month, all supporting this legislation. Bryan Steilkie, of the Kent County chapter, was not only at the House Administration Committee meeting on Wednesday but wrote a detailed report as well. Although the Delaware Health Freedom Act was added to the committee’s schedule at the last minute (Monday evening), both Bryan and Bill Walker (of the Sussex County chapter of the 9-12 Delaware Patriots) were at the meeting to formally present the committee with the previously mentioned gathered signatures.
Bryan, in his summary to the 9-12 Delaware Patriots, states the following: “We learned that the vote was already decided before for the hearing. That nothing said by either side made much of a difference. This is the way our current representative’s work and what makes people irate at the government. They feel no one is listening. All I know is, no one was listening today. It was a done deal from the start. I suggest that these career politicians be unseated and we vote in fresh faces, with intelligent minds… We will use what we learned and will be back to fight for Delaware again. We are not going away”

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