A state Senate panel approved a proposal this morning that would make the federal health care law and its requirement that all residents purchase health insurance illegal in Pennsylvania.That measure, introduced by Senate President Pro Tem Joe Scarnati, R-Jefferson, would amend the state Constitution to prohibit anyone from being mandated to obtain health coverage or fined for not doing so. A constitutional amendment must be approved in two consecutive legislative sessions, and then must pass a statewide referendum vote.
With this being the second year of the current session, the bill could be approved this year and early next year, when the new session begins, and conceivably could be on the ballot in May 2013.
Mr. Scarnati acknowledged that the U.S. Supreme Court likely will rule on the federal law’s constitutionality before the proposed state amendment could gain final approval. But he said the legislative action would give lawmakers and state residents a chance to express their view on the insurance requirement.