GOP reps. push for guaranteed right to private health care

Emmer, Buesgens
Rep. Tom Emmer, R-Delano and Rep. Mark Buesgens, R-Jordan announce they will push for a constitutional amendment guaranteeing the right to pick private health care and pay for it directly, at a Capitol news conference Sept. 14, 2009.
MPR Photo/Tim Pugmire

Three Republican state representatives they want Minnesota voters to decide whether to protect their ability to purchase private health insurance.

Reps. Tom Emmer, Mark Buesgens and Peggy Scott outlined their proposal for a constitutional amendment at a Capitol news conference on Monday.

Emmer, who is a GOP candidate for governor, has proposed a similar measure twice before. He says the so-called Health Care Freedom Act would not prevent federal health care reform, but it would make a single-payer, government-run plan unconstitutional in Minnesota.

"This bill addresses something that is more aptly described as potential federal encroachment -- the threat of a single-payer health system or an individual or employer mandate that could be at a state level as well," said Emmer.

The proposal follows Gov. Tim Pawlenty's recent suggestion that states could invoke the 10th amendment of the U.S. Constitution to try to block new federal health care mandates.

A state constitutional amendment requires voter approval.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report)

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