ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - Legislation that would repeal a Medicaid health care expansion ordered by Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton has cleared a Senate panel.

The bill from Republican Senate Health and Human Services Committee Chairman David Hann would also block a federal mandate to buy health insurance as part of the health care overhaul.

The bill says the U.S. Constitution doesn't give the federal government the power to regulate health care and directs the Minnesota attorney general to defend the state's rights.

Dayton has said he would veto any legislation blocking the Medicaid expansion, which will extend more generous health coverage to 95,000 vulnerable adults starting in March.

Democrats on the committee objected vehemently to the bill. Sen. Linda Higgins of Minneapolis says it would rip apart Minnesota's system of health care.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)