Mimi Hall reports on state-level resistance to national health care in the USA Today:
In a backlash against President Obama’s health care legislation that stretches from Virginia to California, lawmakers in more than two-thirds of the states are scrambling to undercut the bill before it even passes Congress.
Earlier this month, Virginia became the first state to pass a law allowing its residents to opt out of the proposed federal requirement that everyone have health insurance, a key element of Obama’s plan. Legislatures in Utah and Idaho this month also approved measures limiting the scope of the proposed $950 billion health care bill pending in Congress.
A host of other state legislatures also are considering new laws and promoting constitutional amendments that would limit federal requirements. Most follow Virginia’s lead in nullifying the mandate on health insurance. Obama’s bill would expand health coverage to 31 million Americans who currently don’t have it and impose new regulations on the insurance industry.
The state measures are likely to be challenged in court, setting up new legal battles over whether federal law can trump state laws.
“If there are enough states or people refusing to comply … what’s the federal government going to do?” says Michael Boldin of the Tenth Amendment Center, a non-partisan think tank in Los Angeles that advocates individual and states’ rights.