Four More States Join AGs' Suit over HealthCare
A growing number of states have joined the Florida-led attempt to bring suit to challenge the constitutionality of the healthcare reform law. Lead by Florida's Republican Attorney General, Bill McCollum, the list has now expanded from the original 12. Bill McCollum is a candidate in the 2010 Florida gubernatorial race.
According to the Reuters report, the states the Florida AG now includes as parties to the action are: Indiana, North Dakota, Mississippi, Nevada and Arizona, who join original litigants South Carolina, Nebraska, Texas, Utah, Louisiana, Alabama, Colorado, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Washington, Idaho, and South Dakota. Virginia is seeking to opt-out of the healthcare law based on a state law it recently passed. Most but not all of the Attorneys General of these states are Republicans, which represents marginally more bi-partisan support for the lawsuit than for the law itself.
However, the Democratic AG's may not have gone willingly onto the list of litigants. There has been growing tension in states like Pennsylvania, Arizona and Georgia where the Governor and AG are of different political parties and one is seeking to force the other to either join or sit out the suit. Politico.com reports that in Georgia, Democratic AG Thurbert Baker has defied Gov. Sonny Perdue's demand to join the suit, calling it a "losing argument and a waste of time." Perdue has threatened to do an end-run around his recalcitrant AG and appoint a special attorney general to join the suit, which apparently, is something that the Georgia Constitution allows him to do.
Reuters writes the suit claims that the health overhaul law, which expands government health plans for the poor, imposes new taxes on the wealthy and requires insurers to cover people with preexisting medical conditions, violates the Constitution's commerce clause by requiring nearly all Americans to buy health insurance.
Will the current momentum behind the healthcare suit fade as it continues, especially if it sees little or no actual success in court? Republican consultant Brent Buchanan thinks that as of now, it's politically smart for Republicans to capitalize on the energy behind opposition to the law but that he doubts the issue will have staying power.
"Any attorney general candidate, or anyone running for higher office, should be running on it. There's not many options Republicans have. This is it. I think it's a good last stand. But I think it will lose its luster," Buchanan told Politico.com.
- Health care lawsuit squeezes Dems (Politico.com)
- UPDATE 1-Florida says 5 more states challenge health overhaul (Reuters)
- State of War: Officials Argue over Healthcare Suit (FindLaw's Law and Daily Life)
- Next Health Care Fight: States AG's to Challenge Law (FindLaw's Law and Daily Life)
- What is the Supremacy Clause and Why Should You Care? (FindLaw's Law and Daily Life)
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