State may act against health care bill

Published 10:58 pm Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Legislation is awaiting Alabama House and Senate committee action that would attempt to oppose provisions of the recent health care overhaul.

“Early on in the session there were three bills that were introduced that give the state the option to opt out,” said State Rep. Alan Boothe, D-Troy.

Two house bills propose an amendment to the Constitution of Alabama to prohibit mandatory participation in any health care system.

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A senate bill is awaiting the Senate Committee on Economic Expansion and Trade that would ensure health care providers have the right to refuse their services.

The legislation is still in an early stage after President Barack Obama’s Tuesday signing of a $938 billion health care reform bill.

“As of right now none of those bills are on any committee calendar or agenda,” Boothe said Tuesday.

With the senate session drawing to a close, Boothe said the likelihood of the bills getting passed are dwindling.

“The chances are getting slimmer every day,” he said.

Boothe added that similar proposals in other states have not found success.

“According to the speaker, in three cases it has been ruled unconstitutional (for states to opt out).”

The bills, endorsed by Rep. Blaine Galliher, R-Gadsden, Rep. H. Mac Gipson, Jr., R-Prattville and Sen. Scott Beason, R-Gardendale, are an additional roadblock alongside legal action against the universalized health care legislation signed into law.

Alabama Attorney General Troy King joined with Attorneys General from 14 other states in a lawsuit filed only minutes after Obama’s historic signing. “It’s a sad thing when the attorneys general from across the country have to step into the breach, to do for the American people what their congress has failed to do for them,” King said in a Washington D.C. press Conference.

“I have to say, these are the oldest victims I’ve ever been called on to defend, they are the founding fathers.”

The suit, which will be led by Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum, was filed in a federal court in Pensacola.