Tallahassee, Florida - June 28, 2012 - Noon -
Florida was the instigator of the lawsuit upheld at the U-S Supreme Court on the Affordable Healthcare Act this morning. Minutes after the court's decision was released, Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi said she was shocked by the ruling.
Florida was the leader amongst the twenty-six states to legally challenge the Affordable Care Act. Government officials here said the federal government has no right to mandate people purchase health insurance, that the law infringes on state rights, and that the individual mandate should be struck down as unconstitutional.
Minutes after the U.S. Supreme Court's decision on health care was released, Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi said she was shocked by the ruling. Bondi said the court decided the government cannot impose an individual mandate under the commerce clause, but justices ruled it's a tax and that's why the law can be upheld.
The court ruling states that since the fee falls under the qualification as a tax, it can be upheld. Starting in 2014, people who do not purchase health insurance will have to pay a fee. That amount will be no more than $285, or 1 percent of a family's income, whichever is greater. In 2015 that amount rises to $975 or 2 percent of family income. In 2016, the fee could be $2085 per family or 2.5 percent of income.
"They found that this is a tax and that's contrary to everything our President has been saying. It's a tax on the American people and that is why it was upheld," Pam Bondi said.
Bondi says they have not had a chance to review the entire 200 page opinion from the justices. But as soon as it's available on line, they'll review it.
Attorney General Pam Bondi made the following statement regarding the United States Supreme Court's decision in the health care lawsuit.
“All of us who are disappointed with the ultimate outcome today cannot lose sight of what we accomplished. We fought for the principle that the Constitution limits Congress’s power to direct the lives of our people, and on that point, we won.
"As Chief Justice Roberts wrote in his opinion for the majority: “The
Federal Government does not have the power to order people to buy health insurance.”
"Seven Justices agreed with our position that Congress could not force the States to make the unacceptable choice between losing all our Medicaid benefits or accepting a massive, unaffordable expansion of the Medicaid program.
"The most sobering lesson from this ruling is that our republican system of government only works when our leaders are honest with the American people. Before Congress passed his healthcare law, President Obama told us that the insurance requirement was not backed by a tax. And yet, here we are, reading an opinion that upholds the healthcare law on the basis of Congress’s taxing power. It amounts to a $4 billion tax on the American people.
"In this case, the Constitution’s limits on government power did not
fail—political accountability failed, because the President and the
supporters of this law apparently were not straight with the American
"The American people will have their say in November, and I am confident that they will join me in rejecting a law that is so harmful to individual liberty, to our economy, and to the welfare of our people."