Jun 22, 2010 7:17 PM by Melissa Hawkes
President Obama's healthcare overhaul will extend coverage to an estimated 40 million people, but Lousiana lawmakers signed a bill that goes against much of what the president is trying to change.
Attorney Joseph Joy, said the bill is just an attempt to "appease the people--another political statement, but waste of time."
House Bill 1474 states no-one in the state will be required to pay a penalty if they refuse to carry insurance. Also, no one will be required to have health insurance.
Owen Shute, a health insurance expert, said "to say that the federal government or any form of government should be mandated and not let us have choices should be against the grain of any society."
Shute works for a Lafayette health insurance company and even though he says requiring people to carry insurance would be profitable, he doesn't think its right.
"As much as we believe in insurance and buying something to prevent a catastrophe--we also believe that people ought to have a choice," he said.
Federal law says health insurance isn't mandated, but people will have to pay a fee if they choose not to have it.
Rebecca Comeaux, owner of Rebecca's, said "not all of my employees have insurance, but i'm sure if they had to buy insurance that it would be very hard for them."
Lawmakers are hoping the bill will become Louisiana law.
"In the last part that, it says that nothing in the bill will supersede federal legislation."
The ultimate decision is up to the U.S. Supreme Court.
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