South Dakota looks at measure to rewrite health care regs

The South Dakota legislature is looking at health care but not to make changes to Medicare, Medicaid or other health services but instead to plan for what might happen if federal health care reform is ruled unconstitutional later this year. A House committee is calling for a fundamental restructuring of state insurance regulations should the Supreme Court throw out health care reform.

Some state lawmakers are hoping for an opportunity when it comes to localized health care reforms. House leaders have passed a measure that says if federal health care reform is deemed unconstitutional by the Supreme Court when it rules on a constitutionality challenge led by states opposed to the law later this year they will start over with health care regulations rewriting them completely.

Current state law says that as long as local regulations comply with federal laws the state will handle the details. This goes a step further and brings the process under state control wholesale. Republican state lawmakers want a clean slate for state regulations keeping them far away from federal control.

The measure will go to the full House floor for a vote later this week and is expected to face some opposition as some lawmakers have raised concerns over whether new regulations will cover those who have difficulty finding or affording coverage.