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“If we don’t apply for the grant, [then] the federal government will come in and establish and impose upon us an insurance exchange,” he told reporters.

Enacting legislation that contradicts the measures officials must put into place is counterproductive, said Wake Forest’s Mr. Hall, who thinks the health care battles should be fought in courtrooms, not in state legislative chambers.

“If they’re just going to wash their hands of the whole thing, they’re basically inviting the federal government to come in and do it for them,” he said.

Mr. Hall called the legislative efforts a “spirited assertion of state rights” — and not much more than that. “It reminds me of governors who stood at the doors of their state universities and refused to accept the civil rights laws,” he said.

Some opponents of the Affordable Care Act say states have the power to substantially hinder implementation.

“What we would like them to do is simply ignore the whole thing,” said Michael Maharrey, a spokesman for the Tenth Amendment Center.

He said he would like to see states respond in much the same way they did to the Real ID Act of 2005, which required states to follow federal guidelines in issuing driver’s licenses. Half the states enacted legislation against participation, and all had applied for or received extensions by the 2008 deadline.

“Here we are almost six years later and it’s still not fully implemented, because states just won’t do it,” Mr. Maharrey said.

Many states took almost immediate legal action against the federal health care law. Virginia and Florida filed lawsuits against the act just days after it was approved in March 2010. Since then, 25 states have signed on to Florida’s challenge, and Oklahoma filed suit on its own in January.

Not every state challenging the bill is also pursuing legislation against the Affordable Care Act. Colorado Attorney General John Suthers, a Republican, has joined the Florida lawsuit, which is not supported by the Democrat-led legislature and governor.

Most state legislatures that have passed opposing measures didn’t take action until this year, although 40 states considered a variety of legislation as the health care law was debated in 2009 and then passed in 2010. The Arizona Legislature led the way in opposing the individual mandate when, in June 2009, it became the first state to put a constitutional amendment on the ballot.

“What makes Arizona stand out a little bit was that their proposal became an example or model for quite a few other states,” said Richard Cauchi, health care director for the National Council of State Legislatures. “A number of states filed bills using identical or similar language.”