Montana Insurance Commissioner Monica Lindeen is trying to persuade lawmakers in her state to let her continue to implement a Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) provision that could require many individuals to own health coverage starting in 2014.
The Montana House recently held a hearing on Senate Bill 125, a bill introduced by state Sen. Art Wittich, R-Bozeman, Mont., that would prohibit the state government from administering the federal health insurance purchase requirement imposed by PPACA Section 1501.
PPACA is a component of the federal Affordable Care Act legislative package. Republicans are trying to block implementation of Section 1501 and of the entire law.
If Section 1501, the “Minimum Essential Coverage Provision,” takes effect as written, it will require many people with incomes above a certain level to buy a minimum level of health coverage starting in 2014 or else pay a penalty.
S.B. 125 would not seek to block implementation of all PPACA provisions, and provisions in the bill explicitly state that the act created by the bill not interfere with “voluntary actions taken by individuals to purchase health insurance or to participate in health insurance exchanges” or “the state requirement to purchase motor vehicle liability insurance.”
Lindeen testified during a hearing organized by the Montana House Human Services Committee that she believes the bill conflicts with her constitutional