On this score, Gov. Sean Parnell stands alone.
His decision not to apply for $1 million in federal money to plan for a health-insurance exchange so uninsured Alaskans can buy policies, has already left Alaska as the only state that hasn't sought the money.
Even the other 25 states which have challenged the mandatory-purchase provision of the health care reform act have applied for the funds, for the sensible reason that if the purchase provision stands, they'll have the funds to plan for and implement it. Today is the last today to apply.
On Thursday, the governor took his opposition to the health care reform overhaul much further, telling the Juneau Chamber of Commerce that Alaska will not participate in the program. Parnell has said he believes such participation may violate his oath of office, because of the most recent ruling, in which a Florida federal judge held that the purchase requirement is unconstitutional, and that therefore the entire program in unconstitutional.
We have no doubt about the sincerity of the governor's opposition to the health care reform bill passed in March 2010. And there is a legitimate constitutional question here: Can the federal government require citizens to buy services from private companies?
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