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Five Additional States Join in Suit to Challenge Healthcare Reform

Posted on 08 Apr 2010

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Arizona, Indiana, Mississippi, Nevada and North Dakota have joined 12 other states in claiming recently enacted federal health reform is unconstitutional.

Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum, who is leading the multi-state lawsuit filed in his state, said attorneys general in each of the five states have joined “as we continue fighting to protect the constitutional rights of American citizens and the sovereignty of our states.

“On behalf of the residents in Florida and the states joining our efforts, we are committed to aggressively pursuing this lawsuit to the U.S. Supreme Court if necessary to prevent this unprecedented expansion of federal powers, impact upon state sovereignty, and encroachment on our freedom,” he said in a statement.

The suit alleges that new federal health reform infringes upon the constitutional rights of residents in the 17 states listed as plaintiffs, especially by requiring each American to secure private health insurance by 2014. Such a mandate, the suit argues, violates several sections of the constitution.

The suit also claims that reform measures signed into law by President Barack Obama violate the 10th Amendment of the Constitution by imposing “onerous new operating rules” states must follow as well as requiring each state to spend billions of dollars for added health care without federal aid.

In his state, such a mandate, McCollum said, comes “when Florida faces severe budget cuts to offset shortfalls in an already-strained budget.”

In addition to Florida and the five new states, attorneys general in Alabama, Colorado, Idaho, Louisiana, Michigan, Nebraska, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah and Washington have joined the suit. A hearing on the matter is scheduled for April 14 in Pensacola, Fla.