Any federal official or corporation employee would be charged with a felony and face five years in jail if found to be providing services that comply with the federal Affordable Care Act, also called Obamacare, according to a bill that won the approval Tuesday of an Oklahoma legislative committee.
House Bill 2073 also would make it a misdemeanor for any state employee, including the governor, to enforce any provisions of the national health care law. Punishment is up to two years in a county jail.
“Mary Fallin is going to look mighty good in orange and stilettos,” said Rep. Mike Shelton, a member of the House of Representatives States' Rights Committee who voted against the proposal.
Shelton, D-Oklahoma City, said that while Fallin continues to refuse to establish an online marketplace for the uninsured to shop for health insurance, a provision of the national health care law, other GOP governors are reconsidering.
“She's going to flip-flop because that room is getting really small of Republican governors deciding (it's) the best thing for their state,” he said.
Rep. Dan Fisher, author of House Bill 2073, said the U.S. Constitution does not grant Congress or President Barack Obama the power to pass the Affordable Care Act, even though the U.S. Supreme Court last year upheld the measure.
HB 2073, which passed 8-5, states the national health care law is considered null and void and directs the Legislature to adopt and enact measures to prevent the enforcement of the federal law.
“When states' rights have been tread upon, we have a responsibility to speak up, and this is one of those moments,” said Fisher, R-Yukon. “There comes a time when American citizens must say no.”
Committee member Rep. Kay Floyd, D-Oklahoma City, said the bill would put lawmakers in a constitutional quandary if it gets to the House and Senate floor. She said lawmakers took an oath to uphold the U.S. Constitution, which recognizes rulings by the U.S. Supreme Court as the law of the land, and voting for HB 2073 into law would violate their oath.