03/11/11 — Not so fast ... Governor's veto of health care challenge not one of her better moves

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Not so fast ... Governor's veto of health care challenge not one of her better moves

The governor's chair is a strange mix of politics and leadership. And this week, we got to see exactly what happens when a governor forgets to listen to the people who elected her in the first place.

Gov. Bev Perdue's decision to reject the legislature's vote to join a multi-state challenge to the health care law reads a little more like politics than it does watching out for the state of North Carolina.

The lawsuit challenge suggests that the federal law goes too far -- and requires actions by state residents that a federal government cannot require.

The challenge has been filed by several states.

The governor has said that her reasoning for ignoring the General Assembly's call to join the lawsuit is an opinion by Attorney General Roy Cooper, who says that such a challenge will not be successful because of a provision in federal law.

And that might be -- there might not be a successful resolution to the lawsuit -- and a court might tell the states that they cannot push this issue any further. But so far, there have been some successful challenges to the law -- and some judges who have decided the measure is worth hearing.

And if the governor looked hard, she might find more than a few people in her constituency who would like to see the health care reform law challenged -- if not to see it completely rescinded, to send a message to Washington.

The governor is wrong to interfere in this process. This issue needs to be taken to a court of law with as many state signatures as possible. There, it can get a good look from all angles.

And, by the way, if Attorney General Cooper does not want to pursue a legal fight on behalf of the citizens of North Carolina, we can certainly find another AG who will.

The health care reform law continues to be a thorn in the paws of many U.S. residents and they are unsure what they want to do about it. Challenging the law is a first step toward a resolution that gets the job of health care reform done -- the right way.

Published in Editorials on March 11, 2011 10:58 AM