January 19, 2011
As House Republicans in Washington along with the new Tea Party freshman ponder and debate how to repeal ObamaCare, six more states joined a lawsuit in Florida against President Obama’s health care overhaul. Now more than half of the states in the Union are challenging the law.
The six additional states, all with Republican attorneys general, joined Florida and 19 others in the legal action.
The Florida Attorney General 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.”
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.
Because they do not want to have to defend either the constitutionality or the merits of ObamaCare, attorneys for the Federal Government are defending the lawsuits through the use of technicalities and legal games, claiming that states do not have the legal standing to challenge the law.
Additional lawsuits have been filed elsewhere. In December, a federal judge in Virginia ruled that the clause in ObamaCare which requires American citizens to purchase health insurance – or face penalties – is unconstitutional.
Meanwhile, the White House dismissed an expected vote on repealing the law, saying the Republicans’ push was not a serious legislative effort. Democrats have a majority in the Senate and they have said they will block repeal in that chamber.
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 US 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.
The former Attorney General for the State of Florida, Bill McCollum, filed the lawsuit just minutes after Barack Obama signed the 10-year, $938 billion health care bill into law last March.
Almost immediately, a lobby which represents small business, the National Federation of Independent Business, joined the suit. Shortly thereafter, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Ohio, Wisconsin and Wyoming joined the coalition suing the Federal Government.
Several other states have since joined in the lawsuit, including Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, Indiana, Idaho, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah, Washington and Texas.
Fox News Contributed to this story.