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Pennsylvania Bill #HB 2053   View details of Bill | Go to Bill Online
THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF PENNSYLVANIA
HOUSE BILL No. 2053 Session of 2009

INTRODUCED BY BAKER, CUTLER, WATSON, CLYMER, BARRAR,
BENNINGHOFF, BOYD, CAUSER, CREIGHTON, EVERETT, GABLER, GEIST,
GINGRICH, GRELL, GROVE, HESS, HUTCHINSON, KAUFFMAN,
M. KELLER, KRIEGER, MAHER, MAJOR, MARSHALL, METZGAR, MILLER,
MOUL, MURT, PICKETT, QUINN, RAPP, ROCK, ROHRER, SAYLOR,
STERN, STEVENSON, SWANGER, TALLMAN AND TRUE, OCTOBER 21, 2009

REFERRED TO COMMITTEE ON INSURANCE, OCTOBER 21, 2009

AN ACT
Providing for the rights of individuals to purchase private
health care insurance; and prohibiting certain governmental
action.

The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
hereby enacts as follows:

Section 1. Short title.
This act shall be known and may be cited as the Freedom of
Choice in Health Care Act.

Section 2. Definitions.
The following words and phrases when used in this act shall
have the meanings given to them in this section unless the
context clearly indicates otherwise:
"Commonwealth agency." The Commonwealth, including the
Executive Department, Commonwealth departments and boards and
commissions; an independent administrative department, board and
commission; or a public official thereof, acting under the color
of State law.

"Direct purchase." Payment for lawful health care services
without a public or private third party, not including an
employer, paying for any portion of the service.

"Health care system." Any public or private entity whose
function or purpose is the management of, processing of, or
enrollment of individuals for or payment for, in full or in
part, health care services, health care data or health care
information for its participants.

"Penalties or fines." Any civil or criminal penalty or fine,
tax, salary or wage withholding or surcharge, or any named fee
with a similar effect established by law or rule by a
government-established, government-created or governmentcontrolled
agency that is used to punish or discourage the
exercise of rights protected under this section.

Section 3. Individual rights.
The people shall have the right to enter into private
contracts with health care providers for health care services
and to purchase private health care coverage. The legislature
may not require any individual to participate in any health care
system or plan, nor may it impose a penalty or fine, of any
type, for choosing to obtain or decline health care coverage or
for participation in any particular health care system or plan.

Section 4. Freedom of choice in health care.
(a) Prohibited actions.--To preserve the freedom of
Pennsylvanians to provide for their health care:
(1) A law or rule shall not compel, through penalties
and fines, directly or indirectly, any individual, employer
or health care provider to participate in any health care
system.

(2) An individual or employer may pay directly for
lawful health care services and shall not be required to pay
penalties or fines for paying directly for lawful health care
services. A health care provider may accept direct payment
for lawful health care services and shall not be required to
pay penalties or fines for accepting direct payment from a
individual or employer for lawful health care services.

(b) Private health care insurance.--Subject to reasonable
and necessary rules that do not substantially limit an
individual's options, the purchase or sale of health insurance
in private health care systems shall not be prohibited by rule
or law.

(c) Interpretation.--This section does not affect:

(1) Which health care services a health care provider or
hospital is required to perform or provide.

(2) Which health care services are permitted by law.

(3) The terms or conditions of any health care system to
the extent that those terms and conditions do not have the
effect of punishing an individual or employer for paying
directly for lawful health care services or a health care
provider or hospital for accepting direct payment from an
individual or employer for lawful health care services.

Section 5. Participation in related laws.
Neither the Governor nor the Department of Health, the
Department of Public Welfare or any other Commonwealth agency
shall participate in the compliance with any Federal law,
regulation or policy that would compromise the freedom of choice
in health care of any resident of this Commonwealth.

Section 6. Effective date.
This act shall take effect immediately.

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