Health care bill, HB2, could test strength of NC House majority and veto; vote expected on House Floor Tuesday

House Bill 2 could reach the floor of the NC House as early as Tuesday for a vote according to media reports and Rep. Pricey Harrison of Guilford County. The bill was rushed to the House Judiciary Committee which met immediately after the second session of the House on Thursday.

The NC House Judiciary Committee led by Committee member and Apex attorney, Rep. Paul Stam, the House Majority Leader, was the scene of a debate on a proposed health care law bill on Thursday.

The debate was heard by House members split clearly on party lines. The proposed state bill is intended to prevent implementation of the federal Affordable Health Care Act passed less than a year ago by Congress.

Despite promises that the new GOP leadership would focus on the state's budget deficit and on job creation, the second bill (and the first substantive bill) introduced by the Republicans would seek to halt implementation of the federal health care law passed less than one year ago.

Meeting immediately after the second House session of this year's legislative session Stam and fellow Republicans including the Committee's Chairman, Rep. Leo Daughtry of Johnston County, sought to push through their proposal, House Bill 2, without waiting for information on the fiscal impact of the bill on the state budget.

House Democrats on the Committee asked for a "fiscal note" which would have delayed the vote on the bill pending information from Fiscal Staff at the NC General Assembly.

In a separate development the same day, a report challenged the premise on which the GOP based their health care law repeal bill. A new report was released that shows that "the individual mandate" will protect 4 million North Carolinians.

In addition to preventing millions from losing coverage, the individual mandate, which would require individuals to purchase health insurance when the federal law is fully implemented, could prevent health insurance premiums from rising 27 percent..."

"The individual mandate will make insurance fairer and more affordable,” said Adam Linker of the NC Health Access Coalition, author of the report. “Repealing it would increase costs and put insurance coverage for 4 million North Carolinians at risk," according to the new report.

Continue reading on Examiner.com: Health care bill, HB2, could test strength of NC House majority and veto - Raleigh Statehouse | Examiner.com

Comments

Final Decision up to Elected Democrats

Good story Martha. It shows that the Republicans both here in Raleigh and in Washington don't give a damn about what it will cost in terms of tax dollars or health care-only themselves and their base.

Preventing this travesty is not difficult. It only requires Governor Perdue's veto AND the 52 Democrats in the House to stay together and fight for working famlies and small business.

Will they keep the GOP from getting the 72 votes needed to override a veto? Time will tell if the politicians with a "D" after their name have a backbone or not! What I do know is that siding with the GOP will not make a Democrat more favorable to conservative/tea party voters in 2012 after redistricting comes along.

Michael J. Gould, MS, FIOPL
Member, SEANC Board of Governors
Member, NDP SEC

Can they even do this?

I thought Ellmers, Foxx, Jones, Coble, Myrick, and McHenry were the North Carolina Republicans that get a say on what laws the US Congress passes, not the NC General assembly.

Even if they beat the veto, can HB2 have any real effect?

I mean if they want to waste time on this rather than getting to the rest of their regressive priorities that is fine by me, but I don't see how this is a state issue at all.

Yes, not only can they do this,

But it looks like they will do this. As my Examiner.com article states, the Dems requested a fiscal note that would have shown this to be not just a waste of time and a grandstand play by the GOP House and Senate, but a waste of taxpayers' dollars. JMHO.

Attorney General Roy Cooper and his staff will be required by this proposed law to join a federal lawsuit and participate in litigation--and that is expensive. it is expensive whether you are an attorney for a private firm or the state's legally elected attorney.

Read more on this by the editorial staff of the Raleigh N&O today at www.newsobserver.com, "At first blush."

Martha Brock

More on this from NPR.org

The Battle In The Courts, January 20, 2011

"While congressional Republicans target the health care law through legislative means, attorneys generals are targeting the law in the courts.

On Wednesday, six more states — Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Ohio, Wisconsin and Wyoming — joined a lawsuit to overturn the law filed in federal court in Pensacola, Fla.

Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum launched the suit last March, almost immediately after President Obama signed the health care overhaul into law. Twenty-six states are now part of the suit.

The plaintiffs claim the law is unconstitutional because it requires some people to buy health insurance starting in 2014; they also claim that it unfairly coerce states to expand Medicaid for the poor."

Read more here.

Martha Brock

UNC Doc and group of consumers invited to speak at NCGA

From News Carolina 14 (TWC) and the AP online:

RALEIGH -- "A doctor and a group of consumers
joined with House Democrats to criticize a Republican bill in the North Carolina General Assembly that seeks to sink the federal health care overhaul."

"Opponents of a GOP bill making its way through the House that challenges the 2010 law spoke Monday at a Legislative Building news conference."

The measure attempts to block a provision requiring people to buy insurance beginning in 2014 or pay a penalty. It also would direct Attorney General Roy Cooper to join a lawsuit to challenge the law...snip

A good move on the part of Democrats in the NC House and former Speaker Joe Hackney to arrange this press conference. You can view the event in its entirety at WRAL.com. Dr. Charles Van Der Horst of UNC Medical Center was particularly effective in his presentation to the media.

HB 2 will be sent to the floor of the House on Wednesday according to Laura Leslie at WRAL.com. I have contacted some legislators for an answer on day of vote, but have not received any responses yet. Meck Dems also tweeted that it would be Wednesday.

Martha Brock