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Attorney General continues defiance of health care reform challenge

READ MORE: Attorney General continues defiance of health care reform challenge
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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- The Republican-controlled state legislature wants to challenge parts of the last year's federal health care reform, but Attorney General Roy Cooper is against the plan, even though he's required to join the fight.

North Carolina is set to become the 27th state to challenge the Constitutionality of the last year's federal health care overhaul. Cooper said he will not enforce the bill

"From the perspective of the Attorney General's office, this is all about the law and not about the public policy of the issue," Cooper said during a visit to Wilmington today. "State legislatures across the country cannot pass laws that are in direct conflict with federal law. If it is, it's unenforceable."

From the perspective of most of the General Assembly, health care reform is unconstitutional.

"It's mandating people to buy insurance, when, in reality, it was unprecedented," said Rep. Danny McComas, a Republican from New Hanover County.

Cooper said the challenge could hurt federal funding for health programs in North Carolina.

"There are certain requirements under both the Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Programs of requiring to charge providers a fee that potentially this new law would prevent them from doing that and could potentially lose that funding for the state of North Carolina. That's the concern," Cooper said.

McComas has a different view.

"I think that bill has been vetted very well by many legal scholars, both inside and outside of the General Assembly, and we feel good about it," McComas said.

The bill requires Cooper as the state's attorney to represent North Carolina in the challenge, but Cooper said he believes the parts of the bill that conflict with federal law make it unenforceable, so he will not defend it.

Gov. Perdue has said she will neither sign nor veto the bill, which means it will become law after ten days.

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