Bill preps state for legal fight over health care

Posted: Tuesday, April 13, 2010

JUNEAU - A federal mandate to carry health insurance isn't sitting well with some Alaska lawmakers.

The House Judiciary Committee advanced a state health care policy bill Monday in a 5-2 vote. By stating a person has the right to choose or decline health care, the policy conflicts with federal health care reform legislation recently signed into law. Some public employees would be exempt if their employer, such as the state or university system, requires they buy insurance.

The overall intent is to establish grounds for a lawsuit with the federal government, should the governor and attorney general pursue one.

The bill, also known as "the Alaska Health Freedom Act," was introduced by Palmer Republican Rep. Carl Gatto.

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