A THREAT TO FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS
Under the Model State Emergency Health Powers Act, upon the declaration of a "public health emergency," governors and public health officials would be empowered to:
1. Force individuals suspected of harboring an "infectious disease" to undergo medical examinations.
2. Track and share an individual's personal health information, including genetic information.
3. Force persons to be vaccinated, treated, or quarantined for infectious diseases.
4. Mandate that all health care providers report all cases of persons who harbor any illness or health condition that may be caused by an epidemic or an infectious agent and might pose a "substantial risk" to a "significant number of people or cause a long-term disability." (Note: Neither "substantial risk" nor "significant number" are defined in the draft.)
5. Force pharmacists to report any unusual or any increased prescription rates that may be caused by epidemic diseases.
6. Preempt existing state laws, rules and regulations, including those relating to privacy, medical licensure, and--this is key--property rights.
7. Control public and private property during a public health emergency, including pharmaceutical manufacturing plants, nursing homes, other health care facilities, and communications devices.
8. Mobilize all or any part of the "organized militia into service to the state to help enforce the state's orders."
9. Ration firearms, explosives, food, fuel and alcoholic beverages, among other commodities.
10. Impose fines and penalties to enforce their orders.
As you can imagine, citizens across the country--at least the ones who were informed about it--were quite concerned about this model legislation. The American Legislative Exchange Council and other groups immediately began tracking the issue and reporting on how such legislation could affect citizens' individual freedoms and property rights. As Time magazine recently reported, gun activists were some of the strongest and most influential opponents.