Bill uses 'compacts' to attack federal health care reform

Bill uses 'compacts' to attack federal health care reform

February 7th, 2011 by Staff Report in Local - Breaking News

Staff report

NASHVILLE - Republicans in the General Assembly have introduced legislation that seeks to use a little-known provision in the U.S. Constitution to attack federal health care reform.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Mae Beavers, R-Mt. Juliet, said Monday that her bill would authorize Tennessee to join a health care "compact" with other states. The purpose, said Beavers, a persistent critic of the federal law, would be "returning the responsibility and authority of regulating health care to the states."

She called the compact, which would have to be approved by Congress, a "powerful vehicle for states to confront the federal health care law."

Compacts are created through legislative action of member states and then must try to receive congressional approval. Beavers and supporters, including Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey, R-Blountville, said they are confident the bill will pass the Tennessee legislature and, despite a Democratic majority in the U.S. Senate, pass both houses of Congress.