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Most Wyoming citizens do not know that there were THREE Health Care Freedom Acts back in 2011 legislative session - one was butchered and the others were killed.  Intent, content and even the title were changed drastically in the remaining resolution (#SJ0002) before it ever left the Wyoming Senate chambers. The debates and amendments made against #SJ0002 changed an intended protective measure against Obamacare into a very real threat that could easily facilitate Obamacare or a state-wide version of it.  Nevertheless, some progressive non-profit groups still insist on calling Amendment A “the Healthcare Freedom Act”.  They really hope to convince all of us there is nothing to worry about…


Nothing could be further from the truth.  Below is our explanation.



AMENDMENT A - FOUR SIMPLE SENTENCES


Article 1, Section 38. Right of health care access.


(a) Each competent adult shall have the right to make his or her own health care decisions. The parent, guardian or legal representative of any other natural person shall have the right to make health care decisions for that person.


(b) Any person may pay, and a health care provider may accept, direct payment for health care without imposition of penalties or fines for doing so.


(c) The legislature may determine reasonable and necessary restrictions on the rights granted under this section to protect the health and general welfare of the people or to accomplish the other purposes set forth in the Wyoming Constitution.


(d) The state of Wyoming shall act to preserve these rights from undue governmental infringement.


The above text is the ACTUAL LANGUAGE of Constitutional Amendment A and how it will appear in the Wyoming State Constitution if it should pass by a majority vote of Wyoming voters. (Per 2011 Enrolled Joint Resolution No. 2)

Note:  Links to the legislative details as well as the audio files can be found in the table at the bottom of this page.




Sentence #1:  Section (a)


(a) Each competent adult shall have the right to make his or her own health care decisions. The parent, guardian or legal representative of any other natural person shall have the right to make health care decisions for that person.


Adults, parents and guardians already have the right to make their own healthcare decisions - for themselves and their children and wards.  These rights are already enumerated and protected by our U.S. Constitution (4:2:1, Amendments 1, 4, 5, and 9) and our WY State Constitution (Article 1, Sections 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7). (Also see WY State Statutes Chapter 35, Article 4 for Wyoming Healthcare Decisions Act for guardians, surrogates, etc.)  


If it weren't for the word competent in Section (a) this sentence would be purely redundant and therefore inappropriate for a Constitutional amendment.  Why would this particular word be necessary for your healthcare freedom?  


Furthermore, has anyone ever questioned your competency in the past regarding any healthcare decisions you have made for yourself or your children?  What exactly could be questioned to cast a shadow of doubt on your competency as an adult or a parent?  Have you ever forgotten or refrained from taking medications prescribed by your physician?  Have you ever forgotten, or purposely ignored, recommendations for an annual mammogram, prostate screening or colonoscopy?  Are you in disagreement with the school nurse that your child may have ADD/ADHD and might require Ritalin?


Could lifestyle choices bring into question your competency to make appropriate healthcare decisions? Do you eat junk food?  Drink soda-pop?  Do you exercise regularly?  Do you smoke?  Do you have unprotected sex?  Do you drink raw milk?  Do you have premarital sex? Did you avoid getting this years flu vaccine?  Is your child obese?  Did you avoid having your junk-food eating, soda-pop guzzling, obese child get this years flu vaccine?  Do you think your son is too young to learn about condoms, or your daughter too young to learn about birth control?


If you answered “Yes” to any of the above -

are you still competent to make healthcare decisions?


If you answered “Yes” to any of the above - could your healthcare decisions be determined a threat to the health and general welfare of the public?


Does Section (a) protect your Freedom or place conditions on it?



Sentence #2:  Section (b)

(b) Any person may pay, and a health care provider may accept, direct payment for health care without imposition of penalties or fines for doing so.


We already have these rights and so do healthcare providers.  Obamacare does not threaten to penalize people paying for services, nor does Obamacare threaten to penalize healthcare providers or insurance companies for receiving payment for their services.


On the other hand, Obamacare DOES mandate a penalty/tax upon people who cannot prove they have health insurance.  Obamacare also mandates that an employer must provide insurance for its employees.  Section (b) does not provide any protection from these mandates at all!


More importantly, freedom is not only the Right to pursue life, liberty and happiness, freedom is also the Right to choose not to pursue anything at all!  Liberty and freedom are about CHOICE and this includes the Right to not choose health insurance or any form of healthcare.

This very argument came up during the Senate debates on the resolution that led to Amendment A;























Section (b) provides NO PROTECTION whatsoever from Obamacare mandates.  Additionally, Section (b) omits our RIGHT TO CHOICE in its entirety!


Does Section (b) protect your Freedom or place conditions on it?



Sentence #3:  Section (c)

(c) The legislature may determine reasonable and necessary restrictions on the rights granted under this section to protect the health and general welfare of the people or to accomplish the other purposes set forth in the Wyoming Constitution.


First of all, Rights come from God - not men.  This is the most fundamental principle our Constitutional Republic is based upon and it can be found in the first sentence of the second paragraph of the Declaration of Independence (and for some reason lawyers just don’t get that).  Government cannot grant what it does not have, and it does NOT have the power to grant Rights - government only has the power to grant authority or license.  If WY citizens pass Amendment A they will be agreeing that the State now has a brand new and unlimited power - the power to both grant and restrict Rights.


Secondly, any freedom that is acknowledged anywhere in Amendment A is now gone because restrictions have now been placed on it.  Freedom is removed and replaced with unconditional AUTHORITY OVER YOUR HEALTHCARE BY THE WYOMING STATE LEGISLATURE. Your healthcare freedom is gone.


Section (c) is the door for ROMNEYCARE.  If you think that sounds far fetched then PLEASE read about the 2006 WY Healthcare Commission who contracted the author of Romneycare/Obamacare/Hillarycare to put together the plan for Universal Coverage for Wyoming!












Additionally, it is crucial for Wyoming Citizens to realize that the words “to protect the health and general welfare of the people” are utilized by the State for an overabundance of laws that undermine liberty.  For example, the Wyoming Urban Renewal Code (WSS 15-9-101 through 137) authorizes the state to condemn and take private property, via eminent domain, for the  “public health, safety, morals and welfare of the residents of the state”. (And FYI - this is how health care is being tied to Sustainable Development and Agenda 21.)


What are some of the other “reasonable and necessary” laws that the Wyoming State Legislature has passed to protect the health and general welfare of the people?  Click here to learn about the Post 9/11 bills that were passed in 2003.  Click here to see all of the bills from the past five years that our legislature has classified as Public Health and Safety Bills.


Finally, it is critical for Wyoming citizens to realize that neither “reasonable” or “necessary” are defined in our State Constitution nor our state statutes and thus become a matter of subjective opinion and debate by any legislators at any time this new authority would be exerted.  


If WY citizens pass Amendment A they will be agreeing that the State now has a brand new and unlimited power - the power to both grant and subjectively restrict your Right to make your own healthcare decisions.  Section (c) would allow the state of Wyoming to create their own mandates and their own version of Romneycare.  


Does Section (c) protect your Freedom or place conditions on it?



Sentence #4:  Section (d)

(d) The state of Wyoming shall act to preserve these rights from undue governmental infringement.


This ‘wordsmithing’ by our Wyoming Senate is perhaps the most egregious section of all because it purposely creates a false sense of protection to citizens.  The opposite of the word “undue” is reasonable, appropriate and necessary - the very conditions set up in Section (c) for the legislature to step in and begin restricting our Rights!  While Section (c) cancels out any ‘protection’ for citizens, Section (d) does sets up protection for the Wyoming State Legislature to carry out Section (c) at any given time.


Since any legislature would have the authority to define ‘reasonable and necessary restrictions’ based on any criteria, for any perceived crisis, at any given time, those restrictions would not be considered “undue infringement” at all, they would be authorized by this new section in our Wyoming State Constitution!  In essence, Section (d) tells us that, really, the state will do whatever it wants anyhow.  


Section (d) sets up protection for the Wyoming State Legislature to carry out Section (c) at any given time - it provides no protection to Wyoming Citizens whatsoever.  


Does Section (d) protect your Freedom or place conditions on it?




So… how does all of this apply to “Right of health care access”?!



Remember, the final bill that passed in 2011 was no longer  “Healthcare Freedom”, instead Amendment A metamorphosed into “Right of Heath Care Access”.


So what, exactly  is “Health Care Acess”?  According to an article at the U.S. National Library of Medicine, access to health care “is concerned with helping people to command appropriate health care resources in order to preserve or improve their health”.   


The only provision in Amendment A that seems to address health care access comes from Section (b) - that essentially says the state will grant us restricted Rights to pay and receive payment for healthcare services.  


But what do the other sections have to with “commanding appropriate health care resources in order to preserve or improve our health”?  Let’s summarize what we know about Amendment A and see what we will get if this heinous Constitutional Amendment should pass…


Section (a) allows us to make our own healthcare decisions - as long as we are competent to make them.


Section (b) limits our Right to CHOOSE only to how we will pay and receive payment for healthcare resources.  There is no protection from Obamacare mandates whatsoever, and the choice of NOT having health care or healthcare coverage is not an option.


Section (c) authorizes the state (a brand new and unlimited power) to grant and restrict our Rights if they subjectively determine that our healthcare decisions and choices are inappropriate and thereby a concern or threat to the health and general welfare of the people. This section also provides the door that leads to Romneycare.


Section (d) sets up protection for the Wyoming State Legislature to carry out Section (c) at any given time.  


CONCLUSION: The state will grant us restricted rights to pay and receive payment for healthcare resources.  Our competency to make appropriate healthcare choices may affect what resources we will have access to, and will ultimately be measured against what is best for the collective health and general welfare of the people.  



Sounds just like Obamacare to us!


Yet Amendment A is supposed to

protect us from Obamacare?!


VOTE NO ON AMENDMENT A!


Zooming out…






The “Right to Healthcare Access” is most often associated with Universal Coverage and Social Justice.


See for yourself…


Access to Health Care: A Right, Not a Privilege (4/27/05)

Access to Health Care in Wyoming (Power Point 2/21/08)


Healthcare access as a right, not a privilege: a construct of Western thought (3/28/07)

What is the Human Right to Health and Health Care?

Healthcare Access- Human Rights Watch  (Website)

Equal Access to Healthcare - Human Rights (Website)

Securing Access to Health Care (3/93)

Pope Calls Access to Health Care an "Inalienable Right" (11/19/10)

Policy on Access to Health Care (website)

Below is the BALLOT LANGUAGE as the Secretary of State was directed to endorse, and so this is exactly how Amendment A will appear on the 2012 General Election ballot.  Many people feel that this summary is misleading because it does not have the Amendment in its entirety. This is just one more reason to educate every Wyoming citizen you know about Amendment A.


Constitutional Amendment A


The adoption of this amendment will provide that the right to make health care decisions is reserved to the citizens of the state of Wyoming. It permits any person to pay and any health care provider to receive direct payment for services. The amendment permits the legislature to place reasonable and necessary restrictions on health care consistent with the purposes of the Wyoming Constitution and provides that this state shall act to preserve these rights from undue governmental infringement.

VOTE AGAINST

AMENDMENT A!

FOR                                          AGAINST

SHORTCUTS


Constitutional Amendment A

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Constitutional Amendment B

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Constitutional Amendment C

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Guidelines for Amending State Constitutions

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WY 2006 Healthcare Commission and Universal Coverage

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Info on the

Post 9/11 Bills from WY 2003

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Info on How to

Run Your Own Radio Ads!


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CITIZEN’S LETTERS

“I rise to oppose the [Schiffer] amendment…


Frankly, when I hear the word ‘access’, ‘the Right to Access

shall not be infringed’, I’m not sure what that really means to be honest.  

Because it sounds like I can ask for something and it has to be given to me.  

It has that little bit of a sound to it.  It doesn’t have CHOICE.  

It doesn’t have the ability to say “NO, I don’t want it”.  

It doesn’t really get at the mandates.  


Mr. Chairman, many of us find very repugnant when you have a

federal government that tells you that you must buy healthcare for yourself and

you must buy it for your employees.  ‘Access’ does not get at that.  That seems to tell me that my employees have the Right to have access to healthcare – perhaps provided by me.  I agree that they have the Right to choose it, to buy it or not buy it, but I think the word access is a bad word for this amendment and we need to do a little better.  I would like something simple, elegant, that captures what we’re getting at, but I don’t think this is it.”


Senator Cale Case, Sponsor: Health Care Freedom Act-1

(1/28/11, Senate Floor Debate/#SJ0002, Audio File, AM)

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO THE AUDIO

Fast forward to 45:47 through 47:55        

“I stand against this [Schiffer] amendment and ask that it be defeated because it significantly changes the intent of the entire Health Care Freedom Amendment Act, and that is - that it does not safeguard any of the Rights of the people of Wyoming.  


‘Access’ narrows it from the scope that it originally covered, which included various mandates, and so it fails to safeguard what the Act was intending to do…


Senator Leslie Nutting, Sponsor: Health Care Freedom Act

   (1/28/11, Senate Floor Debate/#SJ0002, Audio File, AM)

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO THE AUDIO

   Fast forward to 40:52 through 41:50  

Constitutional Amendment A - WY 2012 General Election

Audio #1 - Senate 2nd Reading

1/27/11 Senate AM Audio File
Fast fwd to 59:10 through  2:00
Audio #2 - Senate
Committee of the Whole
1/28/11 Senate AM Audio File
Fast fwd to 25:10 through 1:19
Audio #3 - Senate 2nd Reading Continued
1/31/11Senate AM Audio File
Fast fwd to 33:33 through 1:04
Audio #4 - Senate 3rd Reading

2/1/11 Senate AM Audio File
Fast fwd to 37:00 through 1:16


“… It gives authority, instead of the federal level, to the state level where perhaps the state government could come up with a mandate because it was in the interest of the people and perhaps force everyone to obey that mandate…”


Senator Chris Rothfuss

(1/31/11, Senate Floor Debate/#SJ0002, Audio File, AM)

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO THE AUDIO

Fast forward to 53:45 through 55:04        

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