Legislature(2009 - 2010)CAPITOL 106

02/16/2010 03:00 PM HEALTH & SOCIAL SERVICES

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Audio Topic
03:09:25 PM Start
03:09:43 PM HJR35
03:19:56 PM HB168
03:37:12 PM Presentation:
04:19:33 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
Moved Out of Committee
Moved CSHB 168(HSS) Out of Committee
+ Presentation: Foster Care in Alaska, by TELECONFERENCED
Amanda Metivier, President, FFCA
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
                  HJR 35-CONST AM: HEALTH CARE                                                                              
3:09:43 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR HERRON announced  that the first order  of business would                                                              
be  HOUSE JOINT  RESOLUTION NO.  35, Proposing  amendments to  the                                                              
Constitution of  the State of  Alaska prohibiting passage  of laws                                                              
that interfere with  direct payments for health  care services and                                                              
the  right to  purchase  health care  insurance  from a  privately                                                              
owned  company, and  that  compel  a person  to  participate in  a                                                              
health care system.                                                                                                             
3:11:17 PM                                                                                                                    
DEREK MILLER,  Staff to  Representative Mike  Kelly, Alaska  State                                                              
Legislature,   explained   that   HJR  35   "gave   Alaskans   the                                                              
opportunity  to vote  on  a constitutional  amendment  prohibiting                                                              
the passage  of laws that  would force  any person or  employer to                                                              
participate in  a particular health  care system."  He  added that                                                              
similar resolutions  had been introduced  in 36 other states.   He                                                              
reported  that   HJR  35  would   protect  a  person's   right  to                                                              
participate or not  in any health care system,  and would prohibit                                                              
the government from  imposing a fine for that decision.   It would                                                              
also protect  both a  person's right to  purchase, and  a doctor's                                                              
right  to  provide, lawful  medical  services  without  government                                                              
fines or  penalties.  He  explained that  this would be  placed on                                                              
the  ballot of  the next  general  election for  inclusion to  the                                                              
Constitution  of the State  of Alaska.   He directed  attention to                                                              
the  Memorandum [Included  in committee  packets.] which  answered                                                              
questions which arose during a prior committee hearing.                                                                         
MR.  MILLER paraphrased  the Memorandum.    Referring to  question                                                              
one, he said  that HJR 35  did not prevent Alaska  from initiating                                                              
a  new  retirement tier,  as  long  as  health insurance  was  not                                                              
mandatory,  and individuals  were not  fined for  choosing not  to                                                              
participate in the  health care system.  Discussing  question two,                                                              
he explained  that this  resolution did  not preclude  the federal                                                              
government  from  making  changes  to  health  care  programs,  it                                                              
simply protected  the right  not to  participate.  Addressing  the                                                              
third  question,  he  said  that  HJR  35  prevented  a  universal                                                              
coverage system,  but added that Alaska legislators  would work on                                                              
a  targeted set  of  policy solutions  for  the  uninsured.   With                                                              
regard to  question four, he  relayed that any federal  government                                                              
program  that mandated  individuals  to purchase  insurance  would                                                              
not  be  adopted  by  the  Alaska   legislature.    Responding  to                                                              
question  five, he  stated that  HJR 35 prevented  the state  from                                                              
implementing  a plan  that penalized  employee  and employers  for                                                              
not purchasing health insurance.                                                                                                
3:15:35 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR HERRON,  noting a possible  increase to the  fiscal note,                                                              
asked for a clarification.                                                                                                      
MR. MILLER responded  that this was the same fiscal  note as other                                                              
constitutional amendments.                                                                                                      
CO-CHAIR  HERRON  asked for  this  to  be  answered in  the  House                                                              
Finance Committee.                                                                                                              
MR.  MILLER replied  that he  did not  expect the  increase to  be                                                              
3:16:45 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR KELLER  relayed that the Goldwater Institute  had offered                                                              
to defend the  constitutionality for this amendment  at no cost to                                                              
the state.                                                                                                                      
3:17:16 PM                                                                                                                    
CHRISTIE  HERRERA,  Director,  Health   and  Human  Services  Task                                                              
Force,  American Legislative  Exchange  Council (ALEC),  testified                                                              
that ALEC  supported HJR 35 and  that she was available  to answer                                                              
any questions.                                                                                                                  
3:17:56 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR HERRON opened public testimony.                                                                                        
Seeing no one, Co-Chair Herron closed public testimony.                                                                         
3:18:17 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR  KELLER moved  to report  HJR  35 out  of committee  with                                                              
individual  recommendations  and  the accompanying  fiscal  notes.                                                              
There  being no  objection, HJR  35  was reported  from the  House                                                              
Health and Social Services Standing Committee.                                                                                  
3:19:06 PM                                                                                                                    
The committee took a brief at-ease.                                                                                             
3:19:41 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR HERRON brought the committee back to order.                                                                            

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HJR35pkt.PDF HHSS 2/16/2010 3:00:00 PM
hb168r10.PDF HHSS 2/16/2010 3:00:00 PM
HB 168