Yesterday, the Oklahoma Senate approved a ballot measure that would “allow voters to decide if the state’s constitution should forbid regulations that force people to buy health insurance.” The measure will now go to the House for final approval before appearing on the November ballot. Earlier this week, the Missouri Senate also advanced a bill that would put the individual health insurance mandate to a referendum.
Since President Obama signed health care reform into law, 22 states have filed lawsuits challenging the constitutionality of reform and at least 36 states have introduced legislation or ballot initiatives repealing all or parts of health care reform. Today, the Wonk Room, releases a map showing that 41 states are rebelling against reform in one way or another:
The states’ efforts to independently repeal the individual mandate and other provisions of reform have received far less national media attention than the lawsuits, but they’re no less important. The campaign is being orchestrated and organized by the American Legislative Exchange Council [ALEC], a “business-friendly conservative group that coordinates activity among statehouses.” The Council has generally been used as a vehicle by which large corporations advance their agenda in state legislatures and has known ties to different parts of the health care industry.
While businesses may not actually succeed in repealing the federal law — any state bill will be superseded by the federal legislation — these efforts will certainly complicate the implementation of health care care reform and play a large role in mobilizing and energizing the conservative base in the upcoming elections. Democrats and health care reform advocates have their work cut out for them.
(Map designed by Nick McClellan).
Per Sean’s comment, we’ve updated the map to reflect the fact that Missouri Lt. Gov Peter Kinder has not yet filed a lawsuit.
,Progressive States Network notes that many of ALEC’s efforts have failed. View their map here.