Kansas Statehouse
5:42 pm
Tue March 23, 2010

Health Care Freedom Amendment Fails In Kansas House

Topeka, Kan. – A so-called "Health Care Freedom Amendment" to the Kansas constitution failed today in the House. The amendment is aimed at exempting the state from federal health care laws that would require Kansans to have health insurance.

Supporters have argued it would send a message that they disapprove of the law signed today by President Obama. But they fell nine votes short of the two-thirds majority needed to pass a constitutional amendment.

The legislation has now failed in the House and a Senate committee, but Senator Mary Pilcher Cook, a Shawnee Republican, believes it can still pass.

"I think it all comes down to the will of the legislature," says Cook. "Anyone who's familiar with the legislative process knows that nothing's ever dead until sine die."

Opponents have argued federal law would trump the amendment, and it could cause Kansas to miss out on benefits from the federal legislation.