Each citizen of Missouri has the unalienable and God given right to his own life. He has the liberty to live that life according to the dictates of his conscience.
Therefore, he has the absolute right to choose the medical care he desires or to choose none at all; as well as the right to buy or sell whatever health insurance or health care product he chooses or to buy none at all.
This is the natural right of a free man to direct his own life.
We, the citizens of Missouri, declare that the federal government has no constitutional or moral authority to mandate how we buy and sell health care; we therefore declare null and void any and all laws attempting to do so. We refuse to comply with powers they have assumed but were never granted by the states.
The United States and Missouri constitution clearly state that that powers not specifically granted to the Federal government by the states are retained by the states and the people.
We further note that this basic human right to health care freedom has been affirmed by the Missouri house and senate and by vote of the people by passing Proposition C -the health care freedom act - on August 2nd. 2010.
Missouri seeks to create an environment where vigorous competition can flourish both in health care products and services and in health insurance.
An abundant supply of doctors, clinics and hospitals as well as new health plan providers is critical to lowering cost, as is the ability of innovators to make a profit in a free market.
It is equally important that consumer have the information on price and quality they need to make wise and cost effective decisions.
As in with any product or service, it is competition in the free market alone that brings down cost, thereby making those products and services more affordable, abundant and accessible for all.
It is also our belief that each individual has personal responsibility for and freedom of choice in his health care.
Those who act responsibly and maintain health insurance coverage on themselves should not be penalized when they loose coverage through no fault of their own; whether that loss of coverage is from divorce, loss of job or becoming an adult. Those who keep themselves insured should have the opportunity to continue that coverage when a life event changes their situation.
These three principals: open competition, free access to information and the ability to maintain continuous coverage guide the policies to follow.
Saturday, April 2, 2011
Testimony for HJR 8 – The Missouri Jobs and Prosperity Act (Mo. Fairtax)
James Coyne – Owner Coyne Agency Inc. Columbia, Mo.
George Washington once said “Government is a necessary evil” .
By extension, so are the taxes that fund it.
Necessary, because we must pay for the legitimate functions of Government.
Evil, because taxes take from a man the fruits of his labor and oppress him with regulation.
The question before us then is what method of collecting taxes is the most fair, the most simple and the least intrusive to our liberty? In a word, the least evil.
Every year Missourians go about trying to figure out what they owe and why they owe it under our income tax. Those with good tax accounts figure out how to pay less or none at all , the less crafty pay much more. In this bizarre game, businesses and individuals spend days of effort and thousands of dollars trying to figure out how to win.
But the rules of the game are fuzzy at best. Ask 3 tax attorneys if a particular method of organizing a business or a given deduction is legal and you might well get 3 different answers. An individual can end up on the wrong end of the law and not even know it. He can be subject to harsh punishment without even knowing he broke the law.
Worse yet, winners and losers are actually picked before the game ever starts by the state. Tax policy is used to reward some and punish others. It is used to manipulate citizens and that is unamerican and unworthy of the great state of Missouri.
We are not children nor compliant subjects – we are free men and women who have the right to equal treatment under the law – regardless of what businesses we are in or our economic standing.
The only reason I can think of to support the current tax system in Missouri is if you are one of the winners in this rigged game. If you have figured out a way to pay less than your neighbor or you are in a business favored by the state, you send a lobbyist to make sure you hold on to that winning hand. You will be hearing from a number of them today. They forget the greater good and simply like the unfair game because it favors them.
The excessive regulation of our tax code takes its toll on people in time, money and loss of liberty. I run a small insurance agency in Columbia consisting of myself, my daughter and my wife. Every year I spend over a thousand dollars paying a c.p.a. To do my payroll, file and send in my withholding tax and file tax returns.
In addition to the wasted money, I take time every month to inform her of what was paid and to whom. At the end of the year, it takes days of work with mounds of papers to prove every expense, penny of income and deduction.
And frankly there is always that fear in the back of my mind that I will get a knock on the door from a man from the government and he will find I did something wrong and I will be in a world of trouble.
If you are honest with yourself, doesn’t every person in this room have the same fear? With tax laws that are incomprehensible, that can be applied selectively, who knows if all your papers are ever truly are in order? And does not the income tax give the state the entree, the perfect excuse, to delve into every nook and cranny of you private life? What part of your private life is not touched in some way by money?
Multiply that loss of time, money and privacy over the millions of citizens in Missouri and we start to see a system that bleeds our state. This system makes the people fear the government and that is anti democratic.
The bill before you offers a stark alternative to all of this. I ask for your serious consideration of it. Everyone pays tax at the point of purchasing new goods and services and is done with the matter. No papers to keep, no taxes to file, no hassle, no fear. It is fair – everyone pays it and it is applied equally. It is simple and easily understood by the common man and it does not waste peoples time and money or intrude on their privacy.
The amount of income coming into the state will be the same as it is now. I believe the positive effects will be far reaching throughout our great state.
This system of taxation has been extensively researched in the academic world and has broad support by economists and citizens alike. It is currently being used by a number of states with great success. I will let others explain the well proven economic and job creating advantages .
But let me ask you one parting question. How did we get along before the income tax? The answer is - just fine.
Thursday, January 13, 2011
We've all heard plenty about the twenty five hundred page health care bill passed last year in Washington.
We know those who voted for it never read it or cared what was in it.
We know it empowers Federal bureaucrats to interpret and apply hundreds of mandates as they see fit.
Rather than cataloging all the ways it robs consumers, doctors and insurers of their liberty – let me sum up the whole thing for you in four words. “ Now we run everything”.
That's why they didn’t care what was in the bill – they knew it ultimately gave them control over healthcare.
They want to dictate to your doctor which procedures are approved and which are not.
They want to force you to buy the health insurance they approve.
They want to tell your health insurance company what policy’s they will sell, how they will run their business and if they will be allowed to be in business.
But most of all they want to make you dependent on them – once all healthcare is doled out by the government you will never vote them out.
Our founding fathers wisely feared above all things the power of the Federal government. They knew the natural tendency of government was to amass more and more power to itself until total tyranny prevailed.
To keep the Federal Government in check the states granted only strictly limited powers to it. They went on to demand an amendment that asserted that all powers not specifically enumerated as Federal where retained by the states and the people.
So not only will this so called reform destroy our health care it is clearly unconstitutional – it assumes powers for the Federal government that are prohibited to it by our founding documents.
I felt most proud of our state when, on Aug. 2, 2009 we asserted our right to determine our own healthcare.
Prop. C – the health care freedom act, passed overwhelmingly in the Missouri house and senate and was approved by 71% of the voters
The law states that no individual, employer or health care provider can be compelled to participate in a health care system (federally mandated or not).
That you may not be penalized for paying directly health care services.
And that the purchase or sale of private health insurance may not be prohibited.
This was a wonderful confirmation of the natural rights we posses as a free people. However, I can tell you from personal experience ,as a health insurance broker, that prop. C has not slowed the enforcement of health care reform at all.
Implementation is well underway in Missouri and will be completed by 2014.
A few months ago the requirement that insurers accept all minors age 19 and younger was phased in. This forces insurers to accept an individual who waited until they were sick to buy insurance. Kind of like buying home owners insurance while the house is burning down.
The result is no insurance company in the entire state now sells child only policy’s. They want to sell it, people want to buy it but the Federal government has made it impossible. By 2014 this will apply to to all adults and minors.
On January 1 of this year the 80/20 rule was phased in, requiring insurers to run all operations on 20% of income and prove it to Washington.
The result is we have 2 less choices in health care plans. Mercy announced they did not have the resources to comply and were bought out by coventry. Prudential stopped selling health insurance altogether. No new health insurers have entered the market in the last 2 years to my knowledge.
Over 200 Federal waivers to the 80/20 rule have been issued to well connected companies like Mc Donald’s while the rest of us are told to eat cake.
This year a myriad of other mandates on all coverage has raised premiums even higher.
Less choices, less competition and higher prices – all by design.
As the private healthcare industry continues to be killed off, we will end up with 2 or three compliant insurers that might as well be called an arm of the Federal Government.
When a private business is told what they must sell, what they can charge and how to run their business - what can you call it other than socialism?
The last man standing will be the Federal government who makes all the rules,prints money whenever they need it and destroys anyone who stands in their way.
The bulwark of our resistance lies with the states and the people.
The founders foresaw this day and gave us the power to resist Federal tyranny.
The healthcare freedom act we passed is clear – now lets enforce it.
Oklahoma and Arizona passed similar legislation this November. Florida passed it through the house and senate. And Indiana, New Mexico, and Wyoming are considering it.
We must stand immovable with other states against the usurping of our liberty. We must state with a clear voice that we do not recognize their authority in this matter and that healthcare reform is null and void in Missouri.
We have much to be hopeful about-the people are wide awake and will prevail.
Our natural rights as free men are a gift from God and no man may take them.
May the Great State of Missouri always be free and her people shine forth in the light of liberty.
Tuesday, January 4, 2011
The Contract from Missouri
Each citizen of Missouri is endowed with the unalienable and God given right to his own life. He has the right to live his life according to the dictates of his conscience, respecting that same right of his neighbor.
He furthermore has the absolute right to the fruits of his labor-his property belongs to him alone. The people may, therefore, be taxed only with their consent for the constitutionally limited functions of government.
All power resides in the people of Missouri and is granted to the government for the protection of their liberty.
The state of Missouri is sovereign and all powers not strictly Federal in nature and not specifically enumerated in the U.S. Constitution reside with the state and with the people.
To spend only those funds it has is a prime responsibility of Government. To accrue debt to future generations is immoral, sentences our descendants to servitude and destroys their freedom and ability to prosper.
1. I vow to protect the sovereignty of the state of Missouri by vigorously opposing federal legislation or regulation that dictates to our state on issues of health care, education, energy production and usage, banking, commerce, manufacturing or any other area not wholly federal in nature and not specifically enumerated as a federal power in the U.S. Constitution. I will seek to stand with other states to defend this sovereignty. I will apply the original intent of the commerce clause when considering legislation affecting Missouri.
2. I vow to oppose, by all legal means, the appointment of any justice that has not demonstrated, in judicial philosophy and rulings, a commitment to the original intent of the U.S. Constitution and a record of applying the law as written. I will vigorously oppose any judicial nominee who has ruled in a way that creates law from the bench or uses international law as precedent. Such actions usurp the power to make law from the legislative branch, undermine the U.S. Constitution and thereby negate the will of the people through their elected officials.
3. I vow to work for a balanced budget amendment and begin the process of paying off the national debt. I further vow to vote against any legislation that adds to the deficit (is not paid for) - the single exception being wartime spending after a congressional declaration of war. I will initiate action that will cut the Federal budget in the first two years of my term to 2000 levels - that budget to include all spending (entitlements, defense, etc.). These budget cuts will include cutting congressional pay and particularly benefits and retirement.
4. I vow to scrap the current tax code and replace it with a simple single rate tax system such as the FairTax. The current tax system infringes on the privacy of the people and is a tool of federal manipulation. The selective enforcement of an incomprehensible tax code is unequal justice under the law.
5. I vow to build the southern border fence as authorized and to take all other steps necessary to stop illegal border crossings - the protection of our borders being a prime responsibility of the federal government. I further vow to vigorously enforce existing immigration law and oppose any legislation that gives amnesty of any sort to those who have broken our immigration laws. Unknown foreign persons in our nation are a danger to the Republic.
6. I vow to promote, through constitutional amendment, a limit on U. S.Senators and U.S. Representatives to no more than 12 years in one office. I vow to personally serve no more than 12 years in one office. Public office is intended to be a temporary post of public service, filled by citizens, and not a career that enriches and empowers the office holder.
7. I vow that I will apply laws equally to the legislature and the American people, whether that legislation relates to social security, health care or any other issue. I will oppose special treatment for legislators and public officials that is not granted to the people.
8. I vow to support legislation that requires bills to be on a single subject for a single purpose. I will also support complex bills being broken down to single specific proposals. Adding unrelated items to bills and making them so complex that no one understands or reads them is an attempt to hide what is being passed. This practice prevents transparency and open debate on important issues. Bills that are not understandable can also be selectively applied. This constitutes unequal justice and gives regulators the power to make law by how they choose to apply it.
9. I vow to support legislation that requires any regulation having the effect of law, from any agency (E.P.A., H.H.S., I.C.E. etc.), to be first approved by both houses of congress before they are implemented – the creation of law by unelected regulators being unconstitutional.
10. I vow to defend the sovereignty of the United States and its Constitution and law as supreme over all foreign governing bodies.