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Published March 30, 2011, 02:50 PM

Health Care Amendment Beaten in ND House

A North Dakota constitutional amendment on health care has been defeated in the state House.

By: Associated Press,

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — A North Dakota constitutional amendment on health care has been defeated in the state House.

The amendment was intended as a counterweight to the new federal health care law. It said North Dakotans couldn't be required to buy health insurance, and couldn't be penalized if they refused to buy coverage.

Fargo Rep. Jim Kasper sponsored the amendment. He said it would help protect North Dakotans' rights in obtaining health care.

Critics of the amendment said it was pointless. They said the federal law would trump any state law if the federal law is upheld in the courts.

Grand Forks Rep. Eliot Glassheim (GLASS'-hym) says the amendment would give legislators a choice of following the state constitution or the federal constitution.

Representatives voted 54-39 on Wednesday to defeat the amendment.

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