Ritze plans to override veto of opt-out and challenge to ‘ObamaCare’

CapitolBeatOK Staff Report 

Published: 17-May-2010

Lawmakers may soon attempt to override Gov. Brad Henry’s veto of legislation intended to challenge the federal health care law.

House Joint Resolution 1054, by state Rep. Mike Ritze of Broken Arrow, state Sen. Randy Brogdon of Owasso, and state Rep. Mike Reynolds of Oklahoma City, amends state law to allow citizens to opt-out of the new federal system and retain current coverage. Another provision allows the Legislature to challenge the constitutionality of the new mandates.

“I am very disappointed in the governor’s veto,” said Ritze, a physician and surgeon. “The citizens of Oklahoma want the choice of paying for health care without having to carry federally mandated insurance policies. We plan on an override vote.”

House Joint Resolution 1054 would protect any person, employer or health care provider in Oklahoma from being compelled to participate in any health care system. It also prevents Oklahomans from being financially penalized if they choose not to purchase insurance mandated by the federal health care plan, and doctors would still be allowed to accept direct payment without fear of financial penalty. Legislative Republicans pressed for the legislation after Attorney General Drew Edmondson said he would not join litigation to challenge the federal law unless legislators forced him to do so.

“A large number of states have chosen to fight the federal health care legislation and Oklahomans want to be a part of that fight,” Dr. Ritze said.

“Our state especially could lose from the health care mandates because of our extremely low physician–to-patient ratio and the tightness of our state budget. It is crucial that we are a part of the opposition to this legislation.”