SB200 Health Benefit Exchange Update

May 3, 2011

Today was the hearing for the SB200 and we had a good turn out in-spite of the short notice!

The most interesting note of interest is the change of tactic by the supporters which was that the SB200 is NOT the creation of an exchange but rather just the creation of a study group that has a board that will have the oversight of the Legislative Council.  So no talk was to be allowed that did not focus on the structure of the board or the oversight – of course the supporters of SB200 were given a great deal of leeway on the rules :)

The supporters of the SB200 testified for two hours while the supporters of Limited Government and Free Market testified for approx. 45 minutes.  Of interesting note is that Rep. Riesberg in his closing statements made note that the 28 supporters who testified represented groups and therefore represented THOUSANDS of citizens and that of the 12 opponents (those of us who were still there) 3 groups were represented and 9 just represented themselves and so we were simply of no consequence.  Unbelievable!!

I am so honored to have been in the company of the patriots today who came to the Capital and represented all of the citizens who could not take time off of work.  Unlike the PAID lobbyists and special interest groups those who came today gave up their time, gas, parking, salary, vacation and so contrary to Rep. Riesberg those 12 opposing people represented ALL OF YOU who could not take time off of work today!!

I will say that the most impressive committee member today was Rep. Brown who conveyed that he truly understood that the reason health insurance is so costly is due to regulations and mandates.  The least impressive committee members in my view were Rep. J. Kerr who “lectured” Robert Rowland on what the bill was really about and Rep. Summers who at the end asked that the motion to send SB200 appropriations be reversed and the bill sent directly to the House for a vote.

The saddest thing of all today was not that the bill passed out of committee but that so many citizens who came to testify for the first time left feeling so disrespected and swearing that they will never come back again.  One would think that the Democrats were still in the majority in the House and treating citizens like nuisances but instead it is our own team doing this to us.  Sad day indeed.

The bill passed out of committee 9-4 and the Republicans who voted no were and all should send them an email thanking them for standing on principles today and defending Liberty:

Rep. J. Brown –

Rep. Acree –

Rep. Bradford –

Rep. Joshi –

The Republicans who voted for expansion of government and restriction of Liberty:

Rep. Summers –

Rep. Massey –

Rep. J. Kerr –

The bill was then IMMEDIATELY sent over to the house for a floor vote where the bill passed on 2nd reading.  The vote was done via a VOICE vote and so it will be difficult to identify those who where Champions of Liberty and those who were not.  Where is the Transparency we demanded from the Democrats?

Sad day indeed.

In Liberty, Nancy Rumfelt

Liberty Watch