Georgia Passes Frivolous Law Nullifying Health Reform, California Moves Forward With Implementation

Yesterday, Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue — who is also suing the federal government over health care reform — signed the “Healthy Georgians Act of 2010,” a bill providing that no law, regulation or rule can force anyone in the state to “participate in any healthcare system.” Georgia is only the 4th state to actually enact anti-mandate legislation. Missouri has approved a ballot initiative for August 3, along with Florida and Arizona, both of which have placed measures on the November ballot.

The fine folks at Progressive States tell me that 25 states have now rejected anti-mandate bills:

A relatively small number of states are actually succeeding in passing nullification bills — probably because the federal law still supersedes any state effort — and while these stories are flashy, the real heavy lifting is being done in states like California, where legislators are “taking the initial steps to implement the complex series of overhauls prescribed by the federal government.” “More than 20 bills have been introduced and as many as a dozen might be voted on this week as lawmakers face a deadline to pass bills out of their house of origin.” Yesterday, the assembly passed a bill requiring health insurers “to obtain prior approval before raising premiums, copayments or deductibles” and also approved a measure “that would require health insurers to offer maternity coverage in all health plans.”

In fact, while support for reform has flat-lined nationwide, about “half of California voters say they support the nation’s new health care law to some degree.” According to a Field poll, “30 percent strongly support the nation’s new health care law, and another 22 percent somewhat support it.” Fifty-eight percent say the new law is an “important first step but many more changes still need to be made,” according to the poll.