Ala. legislature approves federal health care amendment

Ala. legislature approves federal health care amendment

(WTVM) - When Alabama voters go to the polls in November, they'll have a say regarding health care in the state.

Lawmakers approved the proposed constitutional amendment to go to the people in November, but federal law supersedes state law.

The legislature approved the proposed constitutional amendment for the ballot last spring, challenging Congress and the President.

But after the Supreme Court upheld the federal healthcare law, will it even matter?

"Our voices may be hallowed out by the administration and the Obama folks that just want to make sure that they push forward on a more universal approach or a single-payer approach to healthcare in this state and across the country," said Representative Greg Wren (R).

This proposal to opt-out of the federal healthcare law isn't just unique to Alabama. Voters in Oklahoma, Missouri, and Arizona have all amended their state constitutions to say that no one including the federal government could require them to buy health insurance.

Democrats say it could just act as a way to send lawmakers here a message on how to enact the law.

"What is it's going to be, is it's going to be a dictate to the policy makers of this state as to whether or not we opt in to the Medicaid provisions of this healthcare law," said Representative Joe Hubbard (D).

Medicaid could expand by as much as 40 percent if the state goes along with the entire healthcare law.

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