Some States Seeking Health Care Compact

09.19.2011 - National Healthcare Reform

Sep 18, 2011

State governors and legislators opposed to the federal health-care law are eyeing a novel approach to escape its provisions: joining an "interstate compact" that would replace federal programs — including Medicare and Medicaid — with block grants to the states.

To date, legislation has been drafted or introduced in 14 states and brought to the floor by lawmakers in at least nine. Three Republican governors — in Georgia, Oklahoma and Texas — have signed the compact into law, while Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon (D) let the compact become law without signing it. Supporters say they hope to get 40 states to put it on the legislative calendar in 2012.

If a significant number of states pass the compact, supporters plan to submit it to Congress for approval in the same way that the body approves interstate compacts regulating commerce, transportation, and resource conservation and development.

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