Alaska Governor Sean Parnell has said that his State will not pursue Federal grants related to the healthcare law because of a recent ruling in Florida that deemed the mandate unConstitutional.
Parnell, a Republican, announced on Feb. 17 that he does not want to "proceed down an unlawful course" to implement Obamacare, referring to the Jan. 31 ruling by United States District Judge Roger Vinson in Florida. Alaska was one of the 26 States that backed the lawsuit, which challenged the healthcare law's Constitutionality.
According to Reuters, the United States Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) awarded grants to 48 States and the District of Columbia to help them set up medical insurance exchanges. Although Parnell said that Alaska will not apply for grants, he reported that the State is "reviewing the potential for developing a health insurance exchange without Federal dollars."
Obamacare, which was signed by the President last year, will require most Americans to purchase health insurance or face monetary fines. Since gaining majority rule in the House of Representatives, GOP lawmakers have made efforts to repeal the controversial legislation.
On Feb. 17, the DHHS filed a motion asking Vinson to clarify his decision, which invalidated the entire law because "Congress exceeded the bounds of its authority in passing the act with the individual mandate," according to the South Florida Business Journal. The government claimed that the "sweeping nature of the declaratory judgment" may cause interpretation problems as States are implementing the law.