While 11 state consider versions of the Health Care Nullification Act (recently passed in the Idaho House and the North Dakota Senate) and other states are looking at rejecting health care mandates alone, Alaska might bypass the entire legislative process – and still nullify the law.
Citing Judge Roger Vinson’s decision voiding the whole of last year’s health care overhaul after finding the law’s health insurance mandate unconstitutional, Alaska’s Republican Governor Sean Parnell has said that the state will not pursue the development of health insurance exchanges. From Bloomberg:
Alaska Governor Sean Parnell, saying he’s bound by law, won’t apply for federal grants needed to implement President Barack Obama’s health-care overhaul after a federal judge in Florida ruled it unconstitutional.
The Republican’s decision means the state will skip today’s deadline to apply for a grant that federal officials say is needed to develop exchanges where residents would be able to buy medical insurance under the new health-care law.
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act signed by Obama in March requires citizens over 18 to obtain health coverage beginning in 2014. U.S. District Judge Roger Vinson in Pensacola, Florida, ruled that requiring such coverage exceeded Congress’s power and invalidated the law last month. The decision came in a challenge brought by 26 states, including Alaska.
“We will not proceed down an unlawful course to implement this law,” Parnell said yesterday in Juneau, the capital. “The court’s declaratory judgment that the federal health-care law is unconstitutional is the law of the land as it applies to Alaska.”
It will certainly be interesting to see if other governors will do the same, effectively stopping the federal act dead in its tracks. What they really need to do, though, is the same thing even if the federal courts don’t give them permission to do so.