Cooper: Anti-HCR bill "unenforceable"

Posted February 24, 2011

UPDATED:  See below

Sounds like Gov. Bev Perdue may have to reconsider whether she'll break out the veto stamp for H2, the anti-healthcare mandate bill.  

GOP leaders sent the bill to her desk this week. Perdue has said she doesn't support the bill, but that a veto is "not worth the fight," since the fight over the federal healthcare overhaul will ultimately be decided in federal court, not by state law. 

That was before today's memo from Attorney General Roy Cooper, which says H2 is unconstitutional and could cost the state federal funding for Medicaid and children's health insurance.  

"States cannot pick and choose which federal laws the state will obey," Cooper, a Democrat, says in the memo. He says the Supremacy Clause in the U.S. Constitution makes H2 unenforceable in relation to federal law.  

According to the analysis by NC Solicitor General Chris Browning Jr., the federal HCR bill covers a lot more ground than just the individual mandate. It also requires states receiving Medicaid funds to charge providers a $500 fee to pay for new anti-fraud programs.  

But, Browning points out, "House Bill 2 provides that no law or rule may impose a fee on a person for 'contracting with...a public... health care system.'" If the state is barred from collecting the $500 fee, it could lose Medicaid funding for failure to comply.

Read the memo and analysis here.

Update: Senate Leader Phil Berger (R-Rockingham) issued the following statement via email this evening:  “The Attorney General should be defending the Constitutional rights of North Carolinians, not the political interests of Barack Obama and national Democrats. We disagree with his opinion and don’t think states should bow down when the Federal Government passes unconstitutional laws.”



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  • 27610-USA Mar 3, 2011

    I am an American concerned why is the US Congress talking all about cutting Domestic spending and not talking about cutting Foreign spending like 1 billian dollars aid going to Eygpt every year.
    This is unexceptable because they have their own natural resources to help fight off any terrorisim. So why have our US Government been pumping money out to them every year?
    All that money going to other counties like Eygpt is part why we are in the bad shape that we are in today. "We Can Not Save the World without Saving Ourselves First."

    This is where all of our money is going people.
    LOOK WHO'S TALKING! Quoted by Democratics in an article:
    Kerry, D-Mass., said at a hearing attended by Clinton that "significant financial commitment by the U.S." was crucial to help what he called a "monumental and uplifting transformation" in the Mideast.

  • 27610-USA Feb 25, 2011

    Democrats are going to break the bank in North Carolina & for this Nation with all of their legal tricks of the trades, which will make our country nothing more than a socialist & communist place to live in. The only way to Stop that Path of Destruction is to vote in Republicans across the board in the 2012 Election.

  • josephlawrence43 Feb 25, 2011

    whats unusual here??? All the Federal and State Laws dealing with illegal aliens are, apparently, equally unenforcable..Protecting the Demo voter base ...