Republican AGs plan to sue over health care bill

Chris Rizo Mar. 22, 2010, 2:10pm

Jon Bruning (R-Neb.)

Greg Abbott (R-Texas)

WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline)-A group of at least a dozen Republican state attorneys general plan to file a lawsuit Tuesday, challenging the constitutionality of the health care reform passed by Congress.

The AGs will file their lawsuit after the bill into law by President Barack Obama, who made its passage the cornerstone of his domestic policy agenda.

Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning said he will join with other Republican AGs to fight the bill, which contains a health insurance mandate for all Americans.

"It tramples on individual liberty and dumps on the states the burden of an unfunded mandate that taxpayers cannot afford," said Bruning, president of the National Association of Attorneys General.

The health care overhaul passed by the House requires individuals to have health insurance coverage. Businesses with more than 50 workers would have to provide coverage or pay a $2,000-a-worker penalty if any of their employees get government-subsidized plans on their own.

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott said after the bill's passage Sunday that the controversial provision is unconstitutional.

"To protect all Texans' constitutional rights, preserve the constitutional framework intended by our nation's founders, and defend our state from further infringement by the federal government, the state of Texas and other states will legally challenge the federal health care legislation," Abbott said.

States planning to sue in addition to Texas and Nebraska are Idaho, Colorado, Florida, South Carolina, Virginia, Utah, Pennsylvania, Washington, North Dakota, South Dakota and Alabama.

If signed by the president, the health care overhaul would mark the most significant expansion of medical care since Congress created Medicare in 1965 for the nation's elderly and disabled.

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