Posted: Jan 7, 2011 7:05 PM by Marnee Banks
Updated: Jan 7, 2011 9:37 PM
HELENA - Republicans are wasting little time in trying to get rid of the federal health reform bill.
This upcoming week, Republican Senator Jason Priest of Red Lodge is bringing forth a bill which would force Montana to challenge the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
His bill would require Montana Attorney General Steve Bullock to join a Florida lawsuit stating that federal health reform is unconstitutional.
Back in April, a group of protestors asked Bullock to join the lawsuit. At the time, Bullock responded, "We shouldn't be using tax payer dollars to file a lawsuit that is much more about politics than it is about policy." Bullock said after legal analysis the lawsuit doesn't hold water.
Senator Priest says the cost of joining the lawsuit would be at maximum $1,200. He says the Affordable Care Act will increase Montana's Medicaid cost anywhere from $60 to $150 million per year.
"Challenging health care is really about creating jobs in this state. If employers have difficulty affording health care for their employees they simply will hire fewer people or not provide health coverage. So this is a jobs issue and its an issue for families," Priest says.
Legislators will get a look at Priest's bill Wednesday, January 12 in the Senate Judiciary Committee.