AG: Florida Health Challenge to Proceed

By: Michael Peltier, The News Service of Florida
By: Michael Peltier, The News Service of Florida

Tallahassee, FL - Florida’s lawsuit against the new federal health care law isn’t any less important in light of a ruling Monday by a federal judge in Virginia invalidating a key component of the law, backers of the Florida challenge said.

In statement released shortly after Monday’s ruling, Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum said the state will proceed to make arguments Thursday in Pensacola asking U.S. District Judge Roger Vinson to go further than the Virginia ruling by invalidating the expansion of Medicaid to nearly 2 million anticipated additional recipients whose care would be partially paid by the state under the new law.

“The implementation of this law could add more than 1.9 million Floridians to the Medicaid program, a tremendous financial burden on our state at a time when our budget has no room for extra expenses, McCollum said. “As our lawsuit heads to oral argument this Thursday, I am hopeful we will obtain a favorable decision that will strike down the individual mandate and also halt the hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars required to be spent by states to implement the Affordable Care Act.”

Ultimately, the issue is likely to be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court.

In the Viriginia case, U.S. District Judge Henry E. Hudson struck down a provision of the health care insurance act that requires individuals to carry insurance whether they want to or not. The Minimum Essential Coverage Provision is critical to finance the other components of the plan.

“The unchecked expansion of congressional power to the limits suggested by the Minimum Essential Coverage Provision would invite unbridled exercise of federal police powers,” Hudson wrote. “At its core, this dispute is not simply about regulating the business of insurance – or crafting a scheme of universal health insurance coverage – it’s about an individual’s right to choose to participate.”

While Florida’s lawsuit also challenges congressional abiity to require coverage, the lawsuit additionally claims the sweeping reform of the $2.5 trillion U.S. healthcare system violates state government rights in the U.S. Constitution and will force massive new spending on already hard-pressed state legislatures.

The new healthcare law is a cornerstone of Obama's domestic agenda and aims to expand health insurance for millions more Americans while curbing costs. White House officials have insisted it is constitutional and necessary to stem huge projected increases in healthcare expenses by providing coverage for those who don’t have it, whose care is paid for by everyone else.

The Florida case has been joined by 19 other states. Plaintiffs also include the National Federation of Independent Business.

Vinson has scheduled testimony for Thursday to determine whether to make a summary judgment in the case, which most observers say will ultimately be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court. In September, Vinson refused to dismiss portions of the case as requested by Department of Justice attorneys.


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  • by 1099'er Location: tally on Dec 14, 2010 at 10:04 AM
    Who says we don't pay taxes you IDIOT!
  • by Anonymous on Dec 14, 2010 at 09:57 AM
    Anonymous,you still have to pay either way.What country are you livin in?
  • by Anonymous on Dec 14, 2010 at 08:54 AM
    GV, You can become self-employed. Get a job on a 1099 basis, and you would not be forced to pay taxes.
  • by GV Location: Ga on Dec 14, 2010 at 08:20 AM
    Max,you are right,we should do away with all those programs.Do you work and pay taxes?Every job I've ever had,I was forced to pay social security,medicare,and taxes that go to roads,military,and schools even though I don't go to school or have any children that go.I have never had a job that gave me the option to pay or not.If you had a job you would know that.You keep bringing up all these other socialist programs as if we have a choice to pay for them or not.Anyone who works are forced to pay for these things,idiot.
  • by MEOK Location: Tallahassee on Dec 14, 2010 at 07:27 AM
    Max- Move to a socialist country.See if you like the health care any better. I agree that we need roads and a military, and they are for the public use, however, they are funded out of our taxes. This is not a tax. Even if you don't use it you must pay for it, or go to jail unless you are muslim or amish.
  • by Max on Dec 14, 2010 at 07:11 AM
    right on, we need to get rid of public funded programs such as public schools, roads, social security benefits, medicare, all these free loading people wasting tax money. everything should be privatized and only the rich should be able to have healthcare. time for ex-military personnel to be cut of any free benefits they dont deserve.
  • by NO SOCIALISM on Dec 13, 2010 at 10:48 PM
    Throw out this health care law and Obama along with it! Socialism does not belong in this country and neither does Obama! Virginia has made a stand against this, and we need to do the same!
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