The PATRIOT Act of Health Care


In my column tomorrow, about challenges to the individual health insurance mandate, I mention Idaho's Health Freedom Act (PDF), which declares that "every person within the state of Idaho is and shall be free to choose or decline to choose any mode of securing health care services without penalty." The law notes that "the power to require or regulate a person's choice in the mode of securing health care services, or to impose a penalty related thereto, is not found in the Constitution of the United States of America, and is therefore a power reserved to the people pursuant to the Ninth Amendment, and to the several states pursuant to the Tenth Amendment." Upon signing the law four days before Congress enacted ObamaCare, Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter, a former Republican congressman, had this to say:

Congress and the White House are working out their scheme for pushing through a healthcare "reform" bill that has more pages than the U.S. Constitution has words. I guarantee you that not a single member of the House or Senate has a complete understanding of that legislation any more than they understood all the implications of the USA PATRIOT Act back in 2001. What the Idaho Health Freedom Act says is that the citizens of our state won't be subject to another federal mandate or turn over another part of their life to government control.

Dave Weigel profiled Otter in the November 2006 issue of Reason.