Shea lauds McKenna for joining in lawsuit, vows to fight federal health care legislation at all levels

Rep. Matt Shea today vowed to fight the federal health care measure Congressional Democrats passed Sunday night, and praised Washington Attorney General Rob McKenna for joining in a lawsuit to protect citizens against its mandates.

Shea, who is the lead sponsor of 10th Amendment state sovereignty legislation, said this is the beginning of a fight that will emerge from the grassroots level and through Washington state, all the way to Washington, D.C.

“We will fight this attempted federal takeover of our health care system at all levels, from neighborhoods to cities, from the courthouse to the Legislature, state by state and county by county, because it is a ruthless, unconstitutional mandate that tramples on the individual rights and state sovereignty,” said Shea, R-Spokane Valley.

“I’ve received e-mails and phone calls from people who say this is a ‘dark day.’ I don’t see it that way. I see it as a day of hope and the beginning of states finally telling the federal government they’ve had enough,” said Shea. “I commend Attorney General Rob McKenna for joining in a multi-state lawsuit to challenge the constitutionality of these federal health care mandates. This bill will not be implemented once these lawsuits are filed. It will place this measure on hold until the U.S. Supreme Court decides the issue. Based on my reading of past court decisions, there are a myriad of grounds to rule this bill unconstitutional.”

Shea is the author of a package of bills introduced in January which sought to emphasize and enforce the 10th Amendment, including House Bill 2669, also known as “The Washington state Health Care Freedom Act of 2010.”  The measure would protect employers and workers from possible fines levied at the federal level for not participating in a socialized medicine plan.

“The federal health care legislation is unconstitutional for several reasons. First, you cannot force someone to sign a contract. That’s a basic freedom of will. Second, the federal government cannot and does not have the power to regulate inaction. In other words, they cannot fine or imprison someone for refusing to participate in the plan,” noted Shea. “The federal government only has the power to regulate interstate commerce. The decision not to participate in a government plan is a non-commerce, non-economic activity, and therefore, the federal government has no jurisdiction. Third, the federal government cannot compel a state to enact or enforce a federal regulatory program. Numerous courts have ruled this is a violation of the 10th Amendment.”

Shea noted the Idaho Health Freedom Act is very similar to his legislation. Just last week, Gov. Butch Otter signed that measure into law, blocking any individual mandate to secure health insurance and giving the state the right to sue to protect that freedom. Shea said he will continue to pursue the Washington state legislation in conjunction with McKenna’s lawsuit.

“God bless Idaho for passing this legislation. It sets the stage for a big confrontation with the U.S. federal government. I will also continue to push this bill here in Washington, because it gives us a better constitutional leg to stand on if we affirmatively opt out of this federal regulatory scheme. The federal government is going to lose this fight because we stand on the constitution and we will be placing them back into their constitutionally-designed box,” Shea concluded.

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Washington State House Republican Communications