States Move Ahead With Efforts To Block Individual Mandates
Lawmakers in as many as a dozen states are considering state constitutional amendments that would block a proposed federal requirement for all individuals to have health insurance, the New York Times reports.
Attempts to block an individual mandate have advanced the furthest in Arizona, where a state constitutional amendment will be on the ballot in 2010.
According to the Times, approval of the measures would facilitate a legal battle centered on states' rights and the legislative powers of lawmakers in Congress. The supremacy clause in the U.S. Constitution usually allows federal law to overrule state law.
However, Clint Bolick -- litigation director at the Goldwater Institute, which has helped Arizona with its amendment -- said the Supreme Court might be open to hearing a state claim against an individual mandate.
Constitutional experts and opponents of the amendments believe that the states' moves are intended "to send a message of political protest" but that there is little chance that they will be successful, the Times reports.
Opponents of the amendments also say such amendments could affect larger health reform efforts (Davey, New York Times, 9/29).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.