Convention of Statesmen


Utah HB67: Health System Amendments

On Tuesday morning, February 2, 2010, Carl Wimmer presented HB67 to the Utah House Health and Human Services Committee and was passed through the floor with only one dissenting vote, Representative Phil Riesen.

Representative Carl Wimmer proposes the following substitute bill:

2010 General Session
State of Utah
Chief Sponsor: Carl Wimmer


General Description:

This bill prohibits a state agency or department from implementing federal health care reform passed by the United States Congress after March 1, 2010, unless the state Legislature specifically authorizes the implementation by statute.

Highlighted Provisions:

This bill:

- makes legislative findings;

- prohibits a state agency or department from implementing any provision of the federal health care reform unless the Legislature approves the implementation in statute after receiving a report regarding:

- whether the federal act compels the state to adopt the particular federal provision;

- consequences to the state if the state refuses to adopt the particular federal provision; and

- impact to the citizens of the state if reform efforts are implemented or not implemented.

Monies Appropriated in this Bill:


Other Special Clauses:

This provides an immediate effective date.

Utah Code Sections Affected:


63M-1-2505.5, Utah Code Annotated 1953

Be it enacted by the Legislature of the state of Utah:

Section 1. Section 63M-1-2505.5 is enacted to read:

63M-1-2505.5. Freedom from federal health reform effort -- Preservation of state reform efforts.

(1) The Legislature finds that:

(a) the state has embarked on a rigorous process of implementing a strategic plan for health system reform pursuant to Section 63M-1-2505.5;

(b) the health system reform efforts for the state were developed to address the unique circumstances within Utah and to provide solutions that work for Utah;

(c) Utah is a leader in the nation for health system reform which includes:

(i) developing and using health data to control costs and quality; and

(ii) creating a defined contribution insurance market to increase options for employers and employees; and

(d) the federal government proposals for health system reform:

(i) infringe on state powers;

(ii) impose a uniform solution to a problem that requires different responses in different states;

(iii) threaten the progress Utah has made towards health system reform; and

(iv) infringe on the rights of citizens of this state to provide for their own health care by:

(A) requiring a person to enroll in a third party payment system:

(B) imposing fines on a person who chooses to pay directly for health care rather than use a third party payer:

(C) imposing fines on an employer that does not meet federal standards for providing health care benefits for employees; and

(D) threatening private health care systems with competing government supported health care systems.

(2) (a) A department or agency of the state may not implement any part of federal health care reform passed by the United States Congress after March 1, 2010, unless:

(i) the department or agency reports to the Legislature's Health Reform Task Force and the Legislative Executive Appropriations Committee in accordance with Subsection (2)(b); and

(ii) the Legislature passes legislation specifically authorizing the state's compliance with, or participation in, federal health care reform.

(b) The report required under Subsection (2)(a) shall include:

(i) the specific federal statute or regulation that requires the state to implement a federal reform provision:

(ii) whether the reform provision has any state waiver or options:

(iii) exactly what the reform provision requires the state to do, and how it would be implemented;

(iv) who in the state will be impacted by adopting the federal reform provision, or not adopting the federal reform provision:

(v) what is the cost to the state or citizens of the state to implement the federal reform provision; and

(vi) the consequences to the state if the state does not comply with the federal reform provision.

Section 2. Effective date.

If approved by two-thirds of all the members elected to each house, this bill takes effect upon approval by the governor, or the day following the constitutional time limit of Utah Constitution Article VII, Section 8, without the governor's signature, or in the case of a veto, the date of veto override.

# # #

Mike Lee, candidate for the U.S. Senate and Constitutional Attorney testified to the constitutionality of the bill:


February 2nd, 2010

Utah Republican Candidate for U.S. Senate declares “individual mandate” un-constitutional

Salt Lake City, UT, February 2, 2010 — Testifying before the Utah House Health and Human Services Committee this morning, U.S. Senate Candidate Mike Lee discussed the importance of passing a bill introduced by Utah Representative Carl Wimmer (R-Herriman) that would require Utah to opt out of federal reform when the state determines that opting out is in the best interest of the citizens of the state.

The bill in question is HB67, one of around 30 bills being promoted by other states to accomplish the same objective, according to Wimmer.

During his testimony, Mike Lee stated, “The point is that the federal government, the Congress, has no power to pass an individual insurance coverage mandate. And it is not only the right of the State of Utah, I believe it's the duty, the obligation, of the State of Utah, to fight against encroachments on the state's proper sovereign power preserved by the Constitution whenever that's encroached upon.”

Lee continued: “[HB67] gives to the state legislature the right to decide how far is too far, where that line has been crossed, and it gives to the state legislature the power to say ‘we're not going to do this. We will not be your lap dogs.’”

The Committee approved the measure on a 5-1 vote, sending it to the full House for a possible vote next week.

Last week, Mike Lee was the first U.S. Senate candidate from Utah to sign the “Repeal It!” pledge by the Club For Growth, a pledge seeking commitments to repeal any federal health care takeover and replace it with market-based reforms, when elected. Lee has a strong record of protecting Constitutional rights, including and especially the advocacy of state sovereignty by ensuring that the United States Congress only acts within the limited powers it has been delegated by the states.

Mike Lee is running for the seat currently held by three-term incumbent Senator Bob Bennett, whose proposed health care legislation also contains an individual insurance coverage mandate.

# # #

I, along with 200 plus other Utahans, attended the hearing. Only 3 people testified against the bill and the remainder of us were strong supporters of Representative Wimmer's bill to render any healthcare legislation passed by the U.S. Congress completely irrelevant in the state of Utah. You all know my strong objections to the current Democrat healthcare legislation, Senate and House combined totaling over 4,000 pages (sheesh these people are in dire need of a good editor). One I haven't mentioned, is that as a small business owner I know how detrimental it will be to small business owners across the nation. The costs of healthcare, according to Price Waterhouse, are going to skyrocket. Fines will be levied against small businesses because healthcare we may be paying for will be found insufficient and we will be forced to buy into the federal programs. 90% of the employee hiring businesses in the U.S. are small businesses. In destroying this aspect of America and free enterprise, the U.S. economy is effectively destroyed and will be ripe for a depression unparalleled by any in the history of the world.

Rep. Carl Wimmer and the Patrick Henry Caucus have stepped forward to protect Utahans and Utah businesses, both small and large.

Rep. Brad Daw set forth the motion to have HB67 be heard and gave a strong and impassioned defense by referencing the quote: "Damn the torpedoes! Full speed ahead."

Amen to that! Thank you for answering the call from small business owners across the state and the citizens of Utah and drawing that line in the sand. We will support this legislation.

Please call your representatives and ask them to support HB67. You may find the list of Utah representatives here: Let's stand up for our rights and let the federal government know that here in Utah we will fight back.

I do not want the most incredible health care system on the face earth, which needs TRUE reform and not the commandeering of 1/6th of the U.S. economy and crushing of the American spirit in the guise of healthcare reform, be destroyed by these people in Washington, D.C. The U.S. Constitution gives us the right to do precisely that.

Copyright 2009. All rights reserved by Candace E. Salima.

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