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TN Legislature rejects health law mandate

The Tennessee House approved and sent to Gov. Bill Haslam on Monday a bill declaring that Tennesseans can ignore a federal law's requirement that they buy health insurance. The Tennessee Health Care Freedom Act - SB79 - was approved 70-27 with all no votes coming from Democrats. It was approved by the Senate on a similar party-line vote, 21-10, on Feb. 23. Haslam said during last year's campaign that he would sign legislation carrying the same concept. Similar legislation failed last year, passed by both the House and Senate but in different forms. This year's bill does not include one controversial provision in last year's version that called on the state attorney general to file a lawsuit against the federal Affordable Health Care Act. House debate on the measure stretched over about an hour as Democrats sought to add amendments and gave speeches criticizing the bill. Republicans tried unsuccessfully to shut off debate five times before finally succeeding.
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