I have a question about the usage of the verb "resist". According to the usage examples of some dictionary:

-He was charged with resisting arrest.
-Many people resisted the efforts of lawmakers to raise taxes.

So, "resist" should be used with some activity (both "arrest" and "efforts" are activities). But then, I saw this:

But even some supporters of the law dispute that the establishment of the health insurance exchanges is on schedule, especially since progress varies by state and some Republican-led states are resisting the health care law and withholding resources for putting it into effect.

Health care law is not an activity. So, "resisting the health care law" seems off. Would a rewrite:

...some Republican-led states are resisting the implementation of the health care law...

be better?


1 Answer 1


Your interpretation is a valid interpretation.

It is also possible that the author meant "resisting the tyranny of the health care law", or "resisting the unconstitutional provisions of the health care law".

The sentence clearly indicates that the steps these states are taking to "resist" Obamacare are steps that resist the implementation of Obamacare. Thus, even if the alternative meanings (in my previous paragraph) are correct, they are in addition to the meaning you have identified.

  • So, the original was poorly written?
    – meatie
    Commented Jul 17, 2015 at 3:55
  • The original is fine, because some of the people the author was talking about probably would have wanted the alternative meanings. As in poetry, sometimes it is OK for a sentence to have multiple compatible meanings. If (and only if) the author had meant to exclude the alternative meanings, then the original was poorly written.
    – Jasper
    Commented Jul 17, 2015 at 4:22

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