House Opts Out Healthcare Law
Special Report - February 3, 2011
After nearly three hours of debate and two amendments, the North Carolina House of Representatives gave final approval yesterday to a bill that would limit the impact of the 2010 federal healthcare reform legislation in the state. By a final vote of 6650, HB 2Protect Health Care Freedom passed the House to move on to consideration by the State Senate. New Republican leaders in both chambers have tagged the measure’s passage as one of their top priorities for this legislative session.
The bill focuses on the new federal requirement that all citizens purchase health insurance or else pay a fine. If passed, this legislation would prohibit any law or rule from forcing North Carolina citizens to purchase health insurance; or from prohibiting North Carolinians from purchasing private insurance; or from implementing fines or penalties for either. The bill would also require the Attorney General of North Carolina to “bring or defend a State or federal action or proceeding on behalf of the resident of this State to enforce” the bill.
Legislators debated the merits of both HB 2 and the federal healthcare legislation, primarily along party lines. A little before 5:30 P.M. on February 2nd, the House took two votes on the bill as amended during floor debate. Both votes passed by a 6650 margin to send the bill to the Senate.
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