Oklahoma legislators advance bills challenging federal government

An Oklahoma House committee passed bills that take aim at the Affordable Care Act, commonly called Obamacare.
BY MICHAEL MCNUTT mmcnutt@opubco.com Published: February 20, 2013

Blackwell said it's time to tell the federal government it is not in charge and that it cannot violate the Constitution.

“I will not take it anymore,” he said. “Here, right now, for Oklahoma, we will do what is right, and in my opinion that is saying, ‘Federal government, the Constitution does not allow you to intervene in our personal lives.'”

HJR 1026 passed 9-4.

The committee also passed House Bill 2022, by Rep. Sally Kern, R-Oklahoma City, which would prohibit doctors, except psychiatrists and counselors, from asking patients whether they own or possess a gun.

She said the Affordable Care Act requires doctors to ask patients about gun ownership. Rep. Mike Ritze, R-Broken Arrow, a physician, told committee members doctors and medical students are being trained to ask patients whether they own guns.

But committee member Rep. Mike Shelton, D-Oklahoma City, told the panel that, according to the Media Matters for America website, nothing in the Affordable Care Act changes long-standing law and that doctors still are free but not required to discuss with their patients any health hazards, including a lack of gun safety at home or elsewhere.

HB 2022 passed 7-6.

Both measures go to the House Calendar Committee, which will decide whether they should advance to the full House.