Lawsuit filed by 13 attorneys general – claims healthcare bill is unconstitutional

Legal news for government attorneys- Health care over haul bill is unconstitutional according to several state attorneys general.

Minutes after Barack Obama signed the health care bill, 13 state attorneys general filed a lawsuit.

Tallahassee, FL—On Tuesday, March 23, 2010, attorneys general from 13 U.S. states filed a lawsuit against the federal government, which alleges the newly signed health care overhaul bill is unconstitutional. The suit was filed in Pensacola just seven minutes after President Barack Obama signed the bill into law, as reported by USA Today.

Bill McCollum, Florida’s Attorney General is leading the movement followed by attorneys general from South Carolina, Nebraska, Texas, Michigan, Utah, Pennsylvania, Alabama, South Dakota, Idaho, Washington, Colorado and Louisiana. All of the attorneys general are apart of the Republican Party except Democrat James “Buddy” Caldwell of Louisiana. The health care bill was passed without a single Republican vote in both the U.S. House and Senate.

Under the new health care overhaul bills, which will be effective in six months, heath insurance companies are required allow people under the age of 26 to stay on their parents’ health plans, and would ban them from denying coverage to sick children. More changes will begin in 2014, which will require Americans to have health insurance, whether its through their employer or personally buying it. IRS penalties will be assessed for those who fail to obtain valid health insurance. In addition tax credits will kick-in for middle-class working families with incomes up to $88,000 a year in 2014. Medicaid will also cover more low-income families.

The lawsuit contends, “The Constitution nowhere authorizes the United States to mandate, either directly or under threat of penalty, that all citizens and legal residents have qualifying health care coverage.” Several states are looking into ways to get out of participating in the overhaul. Florida is currently attempting to add a constitutional amendment on the ballot, which will allow voters to exempt the state from the federal law’s requirements. Virginia and Idaho have both passed legislation that is trying to ban the bill’s insurance requirement from taking effect in their state. For the actions to take place, 60 percent of the states voters would have to approve.

Legal News Reporter: Nicole Howley-Legal news for government lawyers.