Montgomery - Speaker of the House Mike Hubbard (R - Auburn) on Friday announced that State Reps. Lynn Greer (R - Rogersville), Mike Ball (R - Madison) and Jim McClendon (R - Springville) will sponsor a package of legislation designed to combat some of the most objectionable provisions of the ObamaCare federal mandate program.
Hubbard said Greer will sponsor the Religious Liberty Act (HB 108), Ball will push the Medicaid Block Grant Compact (HB 109) and McClendon will shepherd the Medicaid Fraud Reduction Act (HB 110) through the Alabama House.
“ObamaCare is among the most offensive pieces of legislation passed by Congress in our nation’s history, and our House Republican Caucus is committed to throwing roadblocks in the way of its implementation in Alabama whenever and wherever possible” Hubbard said. “These men were chosen as sponsors not only because of their skills as legislators, but also because of their commitment to preserving the conservative beliefs and freedoms that ObamaCare attacks.”
Because ObamaCare usurps the religious freedoms guaranteed to employers by the U.S. and Alabama Constitutions, the Religious Liberty Act prohibits business owners from being forced to offer insurance that provides contraceptives or abortion-inducing drugs to employees if it violates the employers’ spiritual beliefs.
“The right to practice your religious beliefs is fundamental and God-given, so spiritually-minded employers should not be forced to provide contraceptives or participate in the taking of unborn life just because ObamaCare decrees it,” Greer said. “Obama and his liberal cronies seem intent on chipping away at our Constitutional rights, and the Religious Liberty Act is intended to serve as a needed fortification against their relentless attacks.”
The Medicaid program demands more than one-third of Alabama’s General Fund budget even though the state may make few decisions about how it is run. The Medicaid Block Grant Compact works to combat that disparity by joining Alabama with other states seeking to bring control over the program from the federal to state government level.
“The same sentiment that caused our forefathers to decree ‘no taxation without representation’ exists today when the state is forced to sink millions of taxpayer dollars into a program that it has no control over,” Ball said. “Under the federal government, Medicaid is a bloated, inefficient and overly-expensive boondoggle, and now it’s time to let the states step in and try to tame the monster that has been created.”
Since no greater insult can be committed against taxpayers than cheating a program designed to give a helping hand to our country’s most vulnerable citizens, the Medicaid Fraud Reduction Act creates new, statutory, abuse-fighting safeguards in Alabama and expands the Attorney General’s ability to combat exploitation.
“Taxpayers need to know that the money they contribute to programs like Medicaid isn’t being wasted and abused, and any coffee shop poll you take will justifiably show that public confidence just isn’t there,” McClendon said. “It’s time we got tough on Medicaid fraud, root out those who take part in it, and punish every one of them to the fullest extent of the law, and this bill puts us firmly on that course.”
The three bills comprise the “We Dare Defend Our Right to Oppose ObamaCare” section of the House Republican Caucus’ 2013 “We Dare Defend Our Rights” Legislative Agenda.
House bills included in the agenda will be among the first to be debated and voted upon during the 2013 regular legislative session, which is scheduled to convene on Tuesday, February 5. For more information on the agenda bills, please visit: www.alhousegop.com/wedaredefend.