GOP lawmakers approve health care reform challenge

Posted February 22, 2011 4:01 a.m. EST
Updated February 22, 2011 6:17 p.m. EST

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— A Republican-penned bill seeking North Carolina to challenge the 2010 health care overhaul law passed the House on Tuesday.

House Bill 2 passed largely along party lines by a 69-49 vote. It now heads to the desk of Gov. Beverly Perdue, who has indicated that she would let it become law without her signature.

The House initially approved the measure two weeks ago, but the chamber needed to accept Senate changes to it.

The bill aims to block a provision requiring most people buy health insurance or face a penalty. The measure also directs Attorney General Roy Cooper to defend the challenge.

Perdue's office calls the bill a distraction and says a federal lawsuit challenging the law is already under way.

“It is difficult to understand why the General Assembly’s leadership has chosen this issue as their top priority to push through the legislature," the governor said in a statement. "This issue, which is already working its way through the courts, is a distraction from what the people of North Carolina need us to do right now: Help create jobs and strengthen education.”