Thursday November 11, 2010

Oklahoma and Arizona Opt-Out of ObamaCare Insurance Mandate

By Matt Anderson

November 11, 2010 ( – On Nov. 2 Oklahoma and Arizona became the two newest states to “opt out” of the controversial “individual mandate” requirement of the federal healthcare law. Citizens of the two states passed ballot measures approving the opt-out, thereby joining Virginia, Idaho, and Missouri in rejecting portions of the bill.

The Oklahoma proposal eliminates the requirement that individuals must buy health insurance by 20104 or face a hefty fine. However, the measure included caveat at the end, which said that under the constitution federal law trumps any contradicting state law, thereby possibly nullifying the proposition. Despite this warning, voters still decided to send a message to Washington by approving the proposal with 65% of the vote.

Tony Lauinger, state chairman of Oklahomans For Life, told LifeSiteNews that the election results showed that “the people of Oklahoma overwhelmingly reject the pro-abortion federal health-care law.” Lauinger pointed out that, “The killing of unborn children is not ‘health care.’”

Arizona passed its measure with a similarly impressive margin. Fifty-five percent of voters approved Proposition 106, which was similar to Oklahoma’s measure, except that it did not include the note regarding federal supremacy. Both ballot measures were based on wording developed by the American Legislative Exchange Counsel.

The results of the measures are particularly important for pro-life advocates as their success indicates that opposition to the abortion funding healthcare law is still strong.

Over the past few months, the fears of pro-life leaders regarding the law have slowly begun to be realized.

Earlier this year, New Mexico, Maryland and Pennsylvania all began setting up “high risk pools” that would be funded by the federal government. These pools specifically covered elective abortions under their plans, although the abortion funding provisions were later removed after the National Right to Life Committee exposed them.

In July a report by the Congressional Research Service concluded that the Affordable Care Act did indeed allow for abortion funding in these high-risk pools. The report also concluded that neither Obama’s infamous executive order nor the Hyde Amendment address abortion funding in these pools.

Americans also expressed their frustration with the federal healthcare law last Tuesday by removing over a dozen supposedly “pro-life” House Democrats who voted for the legislation. Douglas Johnson of the National Right to Life Committee told the National Catholic Reporter on Wednesday:

“The bloc of Democrats who abandoned the pro-life movement to satisfy President Obama and Speaker Pelosi suffered severe losses. In all, at least a dozen House incumbents who had taken high-profile stands against federal funding of abortion, but who ended up voting for the health care law, were defeated by pro-life challengers.”

Johnson went on to say, “The take-home lesson, for lawmakers in both parties, could hardly be clearer: If you vote against the pro-life position – as defined by the mainstream pro-life groups – on a major abortion-related public policy issue, you will be held accountable by a substantial bloc of the electorate.”

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