Healthcare ‘compact’ advances in two states

Oklahoma and Tennessee moved forward Wednesday on the healthcare “compact” that some states are pursuing as a challenge to the healthcare reform law.

Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin (R) signed the multi-state compact Wednesday, and it passed the state Senate in Tennessee. Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal (R) is the only other governor to sign the agreement. It has been introduced in 14 states and passed by at least one chamber in nine statehouses.

The idea is for multiple states to agree to the compact, essentially a contract among those states that “restores authority and responsibility” for healthcare to state governments.

But in order to take effect and supersede federal law, an interstate compact needs Congress’s stamp of approval. Congress would have to turn over all non-military federal healthcare programs to the states that sign the compact, along with the money it would have spent on those programs in those states.