Mississippians could vote on healthcare amendment to constitution - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

Mississippians could vote on healthcare amendment to constitution

JACKSON, MS (WLOX) -

JACKSON, MS (WLOX) - A state representative from South Mississippi wants Mississippians to vote on whether they have to participate in the national healthcare reform law passed by Congress.

Representatives Steven Palazzo of Biloxi and Alex Monsour of Vicksburg, both republicans, jointly filed a Healthcare Initiative with the Secretary of State's office. It's the first step toward getting a Constitutional amendment on healthcare the state ballot.

"Article 15 of the State Constitution guarantees our citizens' right to amend Mississippi law," says Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann. "This is the first step of that process."

The Attorney General's office formulated the language for Initiative #32 and filed it with the Secretary of State:

Ballot Title: Should the Constitution prohibit any laws compelling a person or employer to participate in a health care system or plan?

Ballot Summary: Initiative #32 would amend the Mississippi Constitution to provide that people have the right to enter into private contracts with health care providers and purchase private health care coverage, however, a law or rule shall not compel participation in any health care system or plan, nor impose any penalty for choosing to obtain or decline health care coverage or for participating in any particular health care system or plan.

Following public notice, a final ballot title and summary will be determined and the petitions will be placed on the Secretary of State's website.

According to Mississippi law, for an initiative measure to be placed on the ballot, a minimum of 89,285 certified signatures must be gathered, with at least 17,857certied signatures from each of the five congressional districts as they existed in the year 2000. Petitions must be in the form prescribed in the statute and designed by the Secretary of State.

A full, true and correct copy of the initiative text must be printed on the reverse side of each petition page or attached to each petition page.

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