Three Kansas state GOP lawmakers look for health care opt-out

TOPEKA — Three Republican lawmakers in Kansas want to give the state an opt-out should Congress pass health reforms that mandate individual health insurance.

Their proposal, which would alter the Kansas Constitution, is similar to efforts under way in more than half the states, including Missouri. It's a pointed attempt to get President Barack Obama and Congress to back off efforts to retool the nation's health care system.

"Kansas citizens have a right to make their own health care decisions without federal czars," said Sen. Mary Pilcher-Cook, a Shawnee Republican and one of the three sponsors of the proposed amendment.

The amendment would say no law can require individuals or employers to buy health insurance.

To be added to the state constitution, the legislation must be passed by a two-thirds majority of the Kansas House and Senate and then be approved by voters next year.

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