Preserving Our Right to Make Decisions Regarding Our Health Care

Traditionally in America, we have believed in our ability as free citizens to make and be held accountable for decisions regarding our own personal well being.  This principle of personal responsibility is one of the foundational blocks of our republic and makes our country unique among all of the nations of the world.  

Increasingly, these freedoms and responsibilities are being threatened by state and federal legislative efforts to place our personal health care and health insurance decisions into the hands of government agencies.  Under such proposals, we as individuals will have far less freedom to work with our family doctor to make health care choices for ourselves and our families. 

In response to this movement, it has become imperative that we take action to preserve the right of every Wisconsin citizen to make their own health care and health insurance purchasing decisions.   

It is for this reason that I am proposing an amendment to the Wisconsin Constitution that would protect and preserve this personal right.  Specifically, the Health Care Freedom Amendment (HCFA) seeks to constitutionally safeguard an individual’s right to make decisions regarding their health care and health insurance needs, obtain or purchase private health care services and private health care insurance coverage and prohibits our government from forcing participation in any public or private health care/insurance program. 

Following is the specific constitutional language being proposed under HCFA: 

The people have the right to enter into private contracts with health care providers for health care services and to purchase private health care coverage. The legislature may not require any person to obtain or maintain health insurance coverage or to participate in any health care system or plan. 

As a proposed constitutional amendment, the HCFA requires adoption by two successive legislatures and approval by the people of our state via referendum before it can become effective.  As our government at both the federal and state level continues to address health care reform, the people of Wisconsin want and deserve to be heard.  Many feel that they are not being listened to at this time.  This amendment takes this key portion of the debate directly to the people so they can decide if they want to create some constitutional protections for the right to make their own decisions regarding their health care and insurance needs. 

Without a doubt, improvements can and must be made to improve the affordability and accessibility of health care and health insurance, and there are many reform proposals at both the state and federal level that deserve an honest discussion.  As we work to correct these problems and improve the delivery of quality and affordable health care, we should not eliminate or destroy the freedom and responsibility we all have regarding this very personal matter. 

For more information on the proposed Wisconsin HCFA, click here.

By Wisconsin State Senator Joe Leibham
Special Guest Perspective for the MacIver Institute