OK-SAFE, Inc. Blog

September 24, 2011

WND – Woman sues state over mandatory ‘mark of the beast’ – Oklahoma’s Own

The following story appeared on WorldNet Daily’s (WND)website the other day, detailing the lawsuit Oklahoma’s own Kaye Beach is engaged in regarding the use of biometrics on the Oklahoma  driver’s license.

The battle Kaye is involved is really for all of us concerned with the continued collection of personally identifiable biometric information by the state – one that leaves no options for Bible-believing Christians.

Here’s the story, as posted on WND Sept. 21, 2011:

Woman sues state over mandatory ‘mark of the beast’

Posted: September 21, 2011
8:17 pm Eastern
By Bob Unruh
© 2011 WND


Michael Thompson

An Oklahoma requirement that driver’s license applicants submit to “biometric” digital photographs – which are “stored and shared” without the applicant’s knowledge – is a violation of religious rights, charges a lawsuit filed against the state’s Department of Public Safety and several individuals.

The suit names Public Safety Commissioner Michael C. Thompson.

The state has told the plaintiff, Kaye Beach, that she must submit to the biometric requirement to obtain a license in the state, and there is no exemption based on religious beliefs.

The lawsuit contends the requirement, however, violates the Oklahoma Constitution because it “substantially” burdens Beach’s free exercise of religion and does not accommodate her sincerely held religious beliefs.

The case seeks a ruling that “in order to comply with the Oklahoma Religious Freedom Act, the state must provide an accommodation to Ms. Beach … which allows her to submit a low-resolution non-biometric facial photograph in order to obtain a driver’s license.”

“Constitutional Chaos: What Happens When the Government Breaks Its Own Laws”

“Whether a biometric ID card in the form of a driver’s license or other government-issued form of identification is the mark of the Beast or merely the long arm of Big Brother, the outcome remains the same – ultimate control by the government,” said John W. Whitehead, president of The Rutherford Institute, which is handling the case.

“As Kaye Beach’s case makes clear, failing to have a biometric card can render you a non-person for all intents and purposes, with your ability to work, travel, buy, sell, access health care, and so on jeopardized,” he said.

In March, Beach applied to renew her driver’s license with the Department of Public Safety, the organization reported. Upon learning that the biometric photographs used by DPS are stored in a database that is managed and accessed by international organizations, Beach repeatedly voiced her religious objection to the practice and asked to be allowed to use a low-resolution photograph for her license. Beach subscribes to the Christian belief, detailed in the Bible’s book of Revelation, that Christians must not participate in a global numbering identification system.

Rev. 13:16-18 and 14:9-11 “explicitly commands believers to not participate in a global numbering identification system using the number of man, and eternally condemns participation in that system,” the lawsuit contends.

Officials with the state agency declined to respond to a WND request for comment.

The institute’s report said Beach met all of the other requirements for a license and was deprived of that opportunity – “including the ability to acquire prescription medications, use her debit card, rent a hotel room or obtain a post office box” – only because of the state’s refusal to provide a religious accommodation.

The case was brought in district court of Cleveland County. Rutherford Institute attorneys point out that the state’s requirement for a biometric photograph does not serve a compelling state interest and that the state has other means for furthering any such state interest.

It notes that Beach was told “the interoperability and open architecture format for the high-resolution biometric facial photograph used by motor license agents as required by DPS to take the photographs for driver’s licenses in an internationally set format determined by the United Nation’s International Civil Aviation Organization …. and that the database into which her facial biometric data is placed is managed and accessed by a self-described international organization called the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators.”

The case also alleges the rule violates her privacy and is an unreasonable warrantless search.”

Advertisements

August 12, 2011

Appeals Court Rules Individual Mandate is Unconstitutional

The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled against the individual mandate called for in the controversial Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, aka “Obama Care”, passed in March 2010.  (Read full opinion here.)

OK Attorney General Scott Pruitt’s reaction to this decision is noted below the AP announcement.

From the Associated Press,  8/12/11:

“Appeals court strikes health insurance requirement

Legality of the individual mandate is expected to go to the Supreme Court

By Greg Bluestein, AP 8/12/11

Washington – A federal appeals court panel on Friday struck down the requirement in President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul package that virtually all Americans must carry health insurance or face penalties.

The divided three-judge panel of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals struck down the so-called individual mandate, siding with 26 states that had sued to block the law. But the panel didn’t go as far as a lower court that had invalidated the entire overhaul as unconstitutional.

The states and other critics argued the law violates people’s rights, while the Justice Department countered that the legislative branch was exercising a “quintessential” power.

The decision, penned by Chief Judge Joel Dubina and Circuit Judge Frank Hull, found that “the individual mandate contained in the Act exceeds Congress’s enumerated commerce power.”

“What Congress cannot do under the Commerce Clause is mandate that individuals enter into contracts with private insurance companies for the purchase of an expensive product from the time they are born until the time they die,” the opinion said.

Circuit Judge Stanley Marcus disagreed in a dissent.”

The AP article continues:

“The states urged the 11th Circuit to uphold Vinson’s ruling, saying in a court filing that letting the law stand would set a troubling precedent that “would imperil individual liberty, render Congress’s other enumerated powers superfluous, and allow Congress to usurp the general police power reserved to the states.” ”

Rest of AP article is here.

Oklahoma A.G. Scott Pruitt’s Reaction:

Pruitt Applauds Ruling on Federal Health Care Law 08/12/2011

OKLAHOMA CITY – Attorney General Scott Pruitt released a statement in support of the ruling by the U.S. appeals court: “I am pleased the 11th circuit ruled today that the federal government cannot force Americans to buy health insurance. “Indeed, the ruling affirms and strengthens Oklahoma’s… more

____________________________________________________________________________________________________

So Where Does That Leave Oklahoma’s Health Insurance Exchange?

A joint legislative committee created by the Oklahoma legislature in May 2011 is to examine the impact of PPACA on Oklahoma. The committee will begin its’ series of 5 meetings in September 2011, with the first one scheduled for Wednesday, September 14, 2011 in Oklahoma City, OK. (Time and location to be determined.)

The subject likely to take center stage is the terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad Health Insurance Exchanges.  These exchanges, or so-called clearinghouses, are a cornerstone of the  ObamaCare nightmare and most people can see the problems with their establishment.

The ones to be convinced, of course, are the legislators, who have to make a decision on how to move forward – follow the will of the people and common sense, or establish a state-based exchange.

The 8/2/11 House press release on this committee is below, including a list of the committee members.

Health care law committee to begin work
8/2/2011 11:09:00 PM

Jarred Brejcha
(405) 521-5605 desk
brejcha@oksenate.gov

John Estus
(405) 962-7674 desk
john.estus@okhouse.gov

OKLAHOMA CITY (August 2, 2011) – Legislative leaders today announced membership and meetings of the Joint Committee on Federal Health Care Law, a special legislative committee that will study how the new federal health care law affects Oklahoma.

Senate Pro Tem Brian Bingman and House Speaker Kris Steele ordered the formation of the joint committee this past legislative session to ensure Oklahoma properly addresses the Federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

At the direction of co-chairmen Sen. Gary Stanislawski, R-Tulsa, and Rep. Glen Mulready, R-Tulsa, the Joint Committee on Federal Health Care Law will do its work through a series of public meetings in Oklahoma City and Tulsa.

The committee’s first meeting will be Sept. 14 in Oklahoma City. The committee is expected to meet at least five times through November.

“Having suitable health care options in Oklahoma is an issue the Legislature takes very seriously and intends to proactively protect and address through this committee,” said Stanislawski, a Certified Financial Planner. “Oklahoma patients, taxpayers, businesses, health practitioners, insurers and others all have wide-ranging questions and concerns about this largely unwanted new federal law. The law will affect all Oklahomans, some in significant ways, so this committee will seek to address all relevant questions and concerns for the benefit of all Oklahomans.”

Among the topics to be studied are the state of health care in Oklahoma, logistics and ramifications of implementing the federal health care law, implementation timelines, responses to the law and the costs local governments and businesses may face as a result of the law.

The committee will also explore the implications Oklahoma’s lawsuit challenging the law’s constitutionality may have on the law’s implementation here.

“Clearly, most Oklahomans oppose this law. While we have taken steps to guard against harmful portions of the law, we would be remiss if we did not continue reviewing it so we can do our best to protect a choice-based, free-market health care system for Oklahomans,” said Mulready, a 28-year insurance industry veteran. “Simply put, the committee will show Oklahoma what to expect from this law, how we can continue to protect Oklahoma’s interests and how we can make sure we are best prepared as a state.”

The committee will solicit testimony and recommendations from a wide range of public and private sector experts. It is expected to hear from state and federal policymakers, business officials, insurance agents and brokers, legal experts, health care industry officials and more.

“All parties will be at the table working to make sure Oklahomans have health care choices, not mandates,” said Bingman, R-Sapulpa. “This is an opportunity for Oklahoma to assert our state’s rights and I’m confident all stakeholders will rise to the challenge so we can avoid dangerous federal mandates wherever possible.”

Ultimately, the committee will make recommendations on how the state should address components of the federal health care law.

“The committee will explore all possibilities for putting forth Oklahoma solutions that support a free market health care system,” said Steele, R-Shawnee. “Not everything is clear about this law, and most of us don’t like it, but what we do know is Oklahoma cannot afford to be caught flat-footed, unprepared and unprotected if it takes effect. As much as anything else, this committee ensures Oklahoma is prepared.”

Committee members are:
Sen. Gary Stanislawski, R-Tulsa, co-chair
Rep. Glen Mulready, R-Tulsa, co-chair
Sen. Cliff Aldridge, R-Oklahoma City
Sen. Bill Brown, R-Broken Arrow
Sen. Brian Crain, R-Tulsa
Sen. Sean Burrage, D-Claremore
Sen. John Sparks, D-Norman
Rep. Doug Cox, R-Grove
Rep. Randy Grau, R-Edmond
Rep. Jason Nelson, R-Oklahoma City
Rep. Jeannie McDaniel, D-Tulsa
Rep. Danny Morgan, D-Prague

March 15, 2011

OK-SAFE Meetings Re: Implementing ObamaCare in Oklahoma

Most Oklahomans (and most Americans) objected to the idea of socialized medicine as specified in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, (PPACA), aka ObamaCare.  It’s companion law was the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010.  Collectively these two laws are referred to as the Affordable Care Act.

It appears that the Henry/Fallin administrations, as well as the Oklahoma legislature, have been, and currently are, engaged in implementing the provisions of ObamaCare, as evidenced by the federal grant applications and legislation, while appearing to oppose ObamaCare via SQ 756 and the national lawsuit.

There will be an open discussion/review of both the grants and the legislation paving the way for the implementation of ‘ObamaCare’ in Oklahoma at two meetings this week.
See details below.

OKC – Wednesday, March 16, 2011 – The Village Library, 10307 N. Penn Ave, The Village (OKC), Oklahoma.  Time 6:30 – 8:00 pm.

Tulsa/Broken Arrow – Saturday, March 19, 2011 – Heartland HQ Building, 1008-B N. Hickory, Broken Arrow, OK.  Time: 10:00 am to 11:30 am.

Currently, HB 2130 by Steele, is a key piece of enabling legislation dealing with the HUB board and the development of the Health Insurance Exchanges.  HB 2130 removes the Insurance Commissioner from oversight of the exchange and puts in his place Dr. Terry Cline, OK Sec. of Health and Human Services, appointed by Gov. Fallin.

This bill is being presented by freshman legislator Rep. Glen Mulready, (HD-68) who apparently agreed to carry this bill for leadership.  Leadership has not done him any favors here – HB 2130 is not a bill one would wish to be associated with in the future.

We are recommending a NO vote on HB 2130.  We also suggest to Rep. Mulready that if he is anxious for approval that he might want to get dog – politicians make lousy friends.

Psalm 118: 8,9 –It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in man; It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in princes.”

March 2, 2011

OK Republicans Implementing “Obama Care”

On Friday, Feburary 25, 2011 OK Governor Mary Fallin issued a press release announcing “Oklahoma Will Accept $54 M “Early Innovator Grant” to Support Oklahoma-Based Health Insurance Exchange.” 

Noticably missing from the announcement is the fact that the “Early Innovators” grants are to fund implementation of the Information Technology (IT) infrastructure needed to operate Health Insurance Exchanges, a cornerstone of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, aka “ObamaCare.”

The grant application, officially called the Cooperative Agreements to Support Innovative Exchange Information Technology Systems, is a 41-page document outlining the purpose, authority, and background of the funding “opportunity”, as well as eligibility requirements states must meet in order to qualify. 

The application also notes the specific sections of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (and the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act, together referred to as the Affordable Care Act) authorizing the funding of the grant.

Oklahoma was one of seven initial grant awardees, with our state getting the largest dollar amount – $54,582,269.  The grantee in Oklahoma is the Oklahoma Health Care Authority.

According to Grants.gov, the expected number of awards is 51 – all 50 states, plus the District of Columbia.

All of the exchanges are to be interoperable and usable by other states.

Exchanges – Cornerstone of the PPACA

The creation of Health Insurance Exchanges is a cornerstone of  PPACA (ObamaCare), without which there would be no socialized health care plan.  The plan requires an IT infrastructure to be in place in order to function.  No Exchanges, no ObamaCare.

These insurance Exchanges are mentioned 278 times in the Act.

The specific section of PPACA (ObamaCare) noted in the grant application are:

Page 5 of the grant application cites Section 1311 of the PPACA.
 
“C. Background
On March 23, 2010, the President signed into law the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. On March 30, 2010, the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 was signed into law. The two laws are collectively referred to as the Affordable Care Act. The Affordable Care Act includes a wide variety of provisions designed to expand coverage, provide more health care choices, enhance the quality of health care for all Americans, hold insurance companies more accountable, and lower health care costs. Among its provisions, the law provides grant funding to assist States in implementing parts of the Affordable Care Act.

Section 1311 of the Affordable Care Act provides funding assistance to the States for the planning and establishment of Health Insurance Exchanges (“Exchanges”). The Affordable Care Act provides that each State may elect to establish an Exchange that would: 1) facilitate the purchase of qualified health plans (QHPs); 2) provide for the establishment of a Small Business Health Options Program (“SHOP Exchange”) designed to assist qualified employers in facilitating the enrollment of their employees in QHPs offered in the SHOP Exchange; and 3) meet other requirements specified in the Act.”

Pages 6 & 7 of the application cite Section 1323 of the PPACA:

“The products of this Cooperative Agreement will be available to all States and the District of Columbia for evaluation and adaptability throughout the process so that non-grantee-States will not have to wait until a complete product is finished to test for adaptability for its existing systems. As IT systems are developed, attention should be paid to assuring that information gathered will be accessible for evaluation purposes. U.S. Territories that establish Exchanges under Section 1323 will be eligible to participate in the evaluation and adaptability process and the products developed under this Cooperative Agreement will be available to them.”

Pages 7, 17, 21, 28, and 29  of the application cite Section 1561 of PPACA:

Key Principles of Exchange IT capabilities for Early Innovators
• The organization governing the design, development, and implementation of the core capabilities must follow standard industry Systems Development Life Cycle (SDLC) frameworks including the use of iterative and incremental development methodologies. The governing body must also be able to produce requirement specifications, analysis, design, code, and testing that can be easily shared with other interested and authorized stakeholders (i.e., other States, consortia of States, or any entity that is responsible for establishing an Exchange).
• The design must take advantage of a Web Services Architecture (using XML, SOAP and WSDL or REST) and Service Oriented Architecture approach for design and development leveraging the concepts of a shared pool of configurable computing resources (e.g., Cloud Computing).
• The services description/definition, services interfaces, policies and business rules, must be published in a web services registry to support both internal and external service requests that are public and private, and be able to manage role-based access to underlying data.
Per Section 1561 of the Affordable Care Act, all designs must follow the standards thatare currently outlined in the recommendations published by the Office of the National Coordinator (ONC). For details on Section 1561 Standards, see: http://healthit.hhs.gov/portal/server.pt?open=512&mode=2&objID=3161.
• Per National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) publications, the design and implementation must take into account security standards and controls. (For details on NIST publications, see: http://csrc.nist.gov/publications/PubsSPs.html)

Health Insurance Exchange Legislation

Currently there are several live bills implementing the Health Insurance Exchange but two worth noting are SB 960 by Sen. Bill Brown, and HB 2130 by Rep. Kris Steele.

Health Insurance Exchange Impact on Independent Brokers

Several independent insurance brokers in Oklahoma are concerned about the impact the exchanges will have on their businesses.  The exchanges operate contrary to the free enterprise system and most likely will put the independent insurance broker out of business.  Click here to hear the 2/27/11 interview with Mark Croucher of WHY-Insurance. 

To contact Governor Fallin about this issue:
Phone: 405-521-2342

To call Senate Pro-Temp Brian Bingman:
Phone: 405-521-5528
Email: bingman@oksenate.gov

To call House Speaker Kris Steele:
Phone: 1-405-557-7345
Email: krissteele@okhouse.gov

More on this subject in the weeks ahead.

Blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: