N.C. House passes bill to exempt state from individual mandate in federal health reform
HB 2, titled Protect Health Care Freedom, passed in the North Carolina state House today by a 66-50 margin.
The legislation would exempt residents of the state from part of the Affordable Care Act — the federal health care reform law — passed last year by Congress that requires individuals to purchase insurance. That provision goes into effect beginning in 2014. The bill also requires Attorney General Roy Cooper to challenge the law in court. Currently, 27 other states have filed suit.
Debate of the bill, which stretched out over three-plus hours was mainly along partisan lines. Democrat Verla Insko cited a survey by Public Policy Polling that shows North Carolina residents favor the Affordable Care Act. Republican Ruth Samuelson countered by saying polling by the conservative think tank Civitas Institute — which is bankrolled by conservative businessman and activist Art Pope — has repeatedly shown that voters disapprove of the law.
An amendment offered by Democrat Timothy Spear to not force the AG to sue over the law was defeated 64-52. Democrats were disappointed that Cooper was not allowed to address the House during debate.
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