Tuesday, February 2, 2010

The NAACP National Office releases a statement in opposition to the proposed "Kansas Health Care Freedom Amendment"

New Health Care Amendment to punish Working class Kansans

(Washington, DC) The NAACP issued the following statement today, in response to the Kansas Health Care Freedom Amendment that was proposed today in the Kansas State Legislature.

This afternoon, members of the Kansas House and Senate will introduce a proposed Amendment to the Kansas State Constitution, called the "Kansas Health Care Freedom Act". This proposed Amendment seeks to prevent the implementation of any national Health Care reform measures within the state of Kansas.

“This amendment is outrageous and does nothing to address the current health care crisis. The tactics being used by Representatives Landwehr and Mast and Senator Cook are the very same tactics perfected by segregationist Dixiecrats of the 1960’s,” stated NAACP President and CEO Benjamin Todd Jealous. “In the last century the Dixiecrats tried to obstruct the rights of Black Americans, and now in this century they are trying to obstruct the rights of everyday working Americans. It was wrong then and it’s wrong now. All who believe every Americans right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness must stand up and fight egregious pieces of legislation like this, we cannot let the greedy insurance company CEO’s trump the needs of patients and physicians.”

The legislation would add a new article to the State Constitution, which would read, "A law or rule shall not compel, directly or indirectly, any person, employer, or health care provider to participate in any health care system or purchase health insurance".

“The way to achieve real health care reform is not to preempt federal law, nor use political gamesmanship; this legislation will have an adverse effect on everyday working people and will put us further away from achieving comprehensive health care reform. Over 880,000 African Americans have died in the past decade due to the disparities in our health care system and having access to quality affordable health care is not something that should be reserved for the wealthy, or the few. It should be for everyone, and that’s not the case today, and will not be the case if this amendment is passed,” concluded Jealous.

Chris Fleming
202/463-2940 x.1021

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