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Thursday, January 20, 2011

26 States Join Law Suit Against Mandatory Health Care, ObamaCare

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Jan. 18: Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, speaks after accepting delivery of signed petitions demanding the repeal of 'ObamaCare' in Washington.
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26 States Join Suit Against Obama Health Law

Published January 19, 2011
 Associated Press

PENSACOLA, Fla. -- Six more states joined a lawsuit in Florida against President Obama's health care overhaul on Tuesday, meaning more than half of the country is challenging the law.

The announcement was made as House members in Washington, led by Republicans, debated whether to repeal the law.

The six additional states, all with Republican attorneys general, joined Florida and 19 others in the legal action, Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi said.

"It sends a strong message that more than half of the states consider the health care law unconstitutional and are willing to fight it in court," she said in a statement.

The states claim the health care law is unconstitutional and violates people's rights by forcing them to buy health insurance by 2014 or face penalties.

Government attorneys have said the states do not have standing to challenge the law and want the case dismissed.

Lawsuits have been filed elsewhere. A federal judge in Virginia ruled in December that the insurance-purchase mandate was unconstitutional, though two other federal judges have upheld the requirement. It's expected the Supreme Court will ultimately have to resolve the issue.

In the Florida case, the states also argue the federal government is violating the Constitution by forcing a mandate on the states without providing money to pay for it. They say the new law gives the state's the impossible choice of accepting the new costs or forfeiting federal Medicaid funding.

Florida U.S. District Judge Roger Vinson could rule later this month whether he will grant a summary judgment in favor of the states or the Obama administration without a trial.

Joining the coalition in the Florida case were: Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Ohio, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

The other states that are suing are Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, Indiana, Idaho, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah and Washington.

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