Moments after President Barack Obama signed the healthcare reform bill into law, 13 state attorneys general filed a federal lawsuit questioning its constitutionality. Twelve of the 13 attorneys general are Republicans. Louisiana Attorney General Buddy Caldwell is the lone Democrat to take part in the lawsuit.
States file lawsuit against reform law
The complaint names the federal departments of HHS, Labor and Treasury and their secretaries as defendants in the lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Pensacola, Fla., according to the office of Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum. The lawsuit argues that Congress exceeded its constitutional authority in approving the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, both in requiring states to expand their Medicaid programs and in the individual mandate to purchase health insurance under threat of fines.
Republican-elected officials in Colorado, Minnesota and Nevada urged their attorneys general to join the lawsuit. The attorneys general in Minnesota and Nevada are Democrats, while Colorado's is a Republican. Legislators in Florida and Kansas are contemplating amendments to the state constitution that would thwart the reform law's mandates on companies and individuals. Michigan legislators, having failed last week to win approval in the statehouse for a referendum on healthcare reform, are seeking to bring the measure to the ballot via petition.
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