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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 16, 2010
Florida judge hears multistate health care challenge

McKenna: Forcing every U.S. citizen to buy a commercial product in the private market with their own money is an unprecedented and unconstitutional move by the federal government

OLYMPIA— Judge Roger Vinson of the US District Court for the Northern District of Florida in Pensacola today heard oral arguments in the multistate lawsuit challenging provisions of the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

The suit, brought by Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum, Washington Attorney General Rob McKenna, 18 other states, two individuals and the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), challenges:
1) The unprecedented and unconstitutional requirement that all Americans must obtain or purchase private health care insurance or face a fine; and
2) The massive expansion of the Medicaid program which will unconstitutionally require states to spend billions more on this program at a time when state budgets are already in crisis.

“Forcing every U.S. citizen to buy a commercial product in the private market with their own money is an unprecedented and unconstitutional move by the federal government,” said Attorney General Rob McKenna. “We need health care reform built on a constitutional foundation, which actually reduces the financial burden on our citizens and our states, and that is why I joined this lawsuit on behalf of Washingtonians.”

“The individual health insurance mandate requiring all Americans to purchase their own insurance and the massive impact of the Medicaid mandate on state budgets together entail a huge expansion of federal power,” McKenna said. “Judge Vinson asked important questions today about the constitutionality of these two provisions, demonstrating that he is taking these arguments seriously. We hope that he will issue his ruling early next year, allowing this case to continue to the Court of Appeals on its way to the Supreme Court.”

Vinson indicated he hoped to rule soon but did not offer a specific timeline.

Earlier this week, in Commonwealth of Virginia v. Sebelius, US District Judge Henry Hudson for the Eastern District of Virginia ruled the individual mandate unconstitutional.

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For more information on the multi-state lawsuit visit:

Contacts: 

  • Janelle Guthrie, Communications Director, (360) 586-0725
  • Sandi Copes, Florida Attorney General’s Office, (850) 245-0150  Sandi.Copes@myfloridalegal.com

 

 

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