A bill that would block the the new health care legislation was introduced by Sen. Scott Beason in the Alabama senate. Brian Hardin, a lobbyist for Alabama Farmers Federation, said the bill says the government cannot obligate citizens to participate in a particular health care plan.
"We're in monitoring mode," Hardin said. "We haven't taken a stand yet. Our concern is about the farmers we represent who are in rural areas." Rep. Gerald Allen (R-Cottondale) said he thinks quality of health care will diminish in Alabama with the passing of the national health care bill.
"The national bill is limiting us as citizens because citizens can't choose who provides our healthcare," Allen said. Hardin said Beason presented the blockade bill before the national bill was passed. But the passing of the federal bill means it is not likely the blockade bill will pass, Hardin said.
Hardin said the bill came to the forefront with a debate in the senate. "Our federal government is limiting us as citizens on what type of healthcare we can use," Allen said.
Sen. Zeb Little said the passing of the national health care bill has sparked an intense reaction in the senate. Little said he thinks the bill will have a hard time passing in the Alabama legislation. "It's an amendment to the constitution which requires the vote of the people," Little said. "If I had to predict, I would say it won't pass, but if it does it will just be put on the ballot (for the public to vote on it)."
Little said the senate is more focused on budgets right now. Last week, there was a filibuster because Beason's bill was not being discussed. Little said the main concern in his district is whether the federal government can dictate citizens' health care. Little said the Alabama attorney general joined a lawsuit against the federal government because of the new health care law, and the courts will ultimately decide on the issue.
Allen said he thought the bill was written in a socialistic mindset, and he did not support the government choosing health care plans for citizens.
"They are trying to tell America 'we can make the decision for you,'" Allen said. Hardin said there has been debate on whether or not Beason's bill can be enforced. "Many citizens in Alabama agree on the bill," Hardin said. "The concern is whether or not it can be enforced."
Hardin said his main concern with the federal bill is that his farmers will not get appropriate coverage. "We have several difficult issues we're dealing with," Little said. "The budgets are the primary issue we are discussing right now."