BATON ROUGE, La. — Senators have shelved a House-backed, largely-symbolic proposal that would establish a state objection to federal penalties for people who refuse to buy health insurance.

Republican Rep. Paul Hollis, of Covington, said his bill would express Louisiana’s objection to that provision of the Affordable Care Act — and put Louisiana in line to nullify those penalties if President Donald Trump’s administration changes federal regulations.

Opponents said Louisiana doesn’t have legal authority to refuse to comply with federal law and would be wasting money to defend the legislation.

Senators on the Senate Insurance Committee questioned whether it gives people a false sense of hope that they could choose to ignore federal penalties, and then get themselves in trouble.

The committee voted 3-2 against the bill, stalling it.

Voting to advance the proposal were Sens. Ryan Gatti, R-Bossier City; and Rick Ward, R-Port Allen. Voting against it were Sens. Ronnie Johns, R-Lake Charles; Dan “Blade” Morrish, R-Jennings; and Gary Smith, D-Norco.

A similar provision already is on the books in Louisiana, passed in 2010. It hasn’t changed the penalties for Louisiana residents.


House Bill 6: www.legis.la.gov