Political News

NC GOP lawmakers file health care challenge brief

Posted May 11, 2011 7:33 p.m. EDT
Updated May 12, 2011 3:08 p.m. EDT

— North Carolina's Republican legislative leaders have joined Minnesota legislators to put their two cents in to support litigation in which 26 states have challenged last year's federal health care overhaul.

Attorneys for lawmakers from the two states filed Wednesday a friend-of-the-court brief in a lawsuit by arguing the overhaul law is unconstitutional, violates the rights of states and would force taxpayers to spend hundreds of millions of dollars more annually on Medicaid.

The case is currently before the federal appeals court in Atlanta.

The Republican-led Legislature passed a bill in February directing Attorney General Roy Cooper to challenge the mandate in the law that citizens purchase health insurance by 2014 or face a penalty, but Democratic Gov. Beverly Perdue vetoed it. The GOP didn't have enough votes for an override.

Cooper has said that he believes the federal law is constitutional and that North Carolina shouldn't waste its time and money challenging it. He also said a challenge could put the state's Medicaid funding from the federal government at risk.