Wednesday, April 7, 2010

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Five Additional States Join Legal Challenge to Federal Health Care Law

AUSTIN – Five additional states have announced that they will join the original 13 states’ legal challenge to the newly enacted federal health care legislation. Indiana, North Dakota, Mississippi, Nevada and Arizona will join Texas and 12 other states’ legal action, which was filed on March 23 in federal court.

“No public policy goal – no matter how important or well-intentioned – can be allowed to trample the protections and rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution,” Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott said. “The federal health care legislation violates our Constitution, imposes an unprecedented mandate on individual Texans, and will require the Texas taxpayers to spend billions of additional dollars on health care programs. The addition of five new states to our bipartisan legal challenge reflects broad, nationwide concern about the constitutionality of this sweeping and unprecedented federal legislation.”

Under the new federal health care law, for the first time in the nation’s history, the federal government is attempting to force individual Americans to enter into contracts and purchase services from private companies – in this case, insurance companies – or face a penalty. The state attorneys general are challenging this so-called individual mandate requirement, explaining that such an imposition on the American people exceeds Congress’ authority and violates Americans’ constitutional rights. Additionally, the states are challenging provisions of the new law that will impose dramatic Medicaid spending increases on the states – including $27 billion in mandatory spending increases in the State of Texas.

The eighteen-state coalition includes Texas, Florida, South Carolina, Nebraska, Pennsylvania, Louisiana, Washington, Colorado, Michigan, Utah, Alabama, South Dakota and Idaho.