States seeking to ban mandatory health insurance

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Conservative lawmakers in a majority of states are forging ahead with constitutional amendments to ban government health insurance mandates.

The proposals would assert a state-based right for people to pay medical bills from their own pocketbooks and prohibit penalties against those who refuse to carry health insurance.

Many proposals began as a backlash to Democratic health care plans in Congress. Whether the measures legally could stop federal health insurance mandates is questionable. Federal laws generally trump state laws.

The American Legislative Exchange Council says lawmakers in 34 states have filed or proposed state constitutional amendments or laws rejecting health insurance mandates, many targeted for the November ballot.

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