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13 States File Suit To Declare Health Care Reform Unconstitutional

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Minutes after President Barack Obama signed a monumental reform of the nation's health insurance system into law, Attorneys General from 13 states filed a lawsuit seeking to have it overturned.

Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum was joined by the Attorneys General from South Carolina, Nebraska, Texas, Utah, Louisiana, Alabama, Colorado, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Washington, Idaho, and South Dakota in filing the suit, which seeks to have the health reform bill overturned.

All of the Attorneys General who signed onto the suit, with the exception of Louisiana Attorney General James "Buddy" Caldwell, are Republicans.

The suit claims that the newly signed reform bill is unconstitutional for requiring individuals to purchase health insurance.

"This bipartisan effort by Attorneys General around the country should put the Federal Government on notice that we will not tolerate the constitutional rights of our citizens and the sovereignty of our states to be trampled on," McCollum said.

He added, "This law represents an unprecedented encroachment on the liberty of the American people, and I will pursue this litigation to the highest court if necessary."

The lawsuit also claims that the bill infringes on the sovereignty of the states by requiring them to expand eligibility for Medicaid without providing sufficient funds to cover the costs at a time when many states are already facing severe budget shortfalls.

South Carolina Attorney General Henry McMaster said the suit represented the "only hope of protecting the American people from this unprecedented attack on our system of government."

"The key question involved is whether personal freedom, state sovereignty, and constitutional law will survive in America for future generations," he said.

Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning added that the suit was aimed at reigning in what he called an "unprecedented" expansion of Congressional authority.

"For the first time, the federal government is forcing Nebraskans to purchase a good or service," Bruning said. "Today's court filing is the first step toward reining in Congress' unprecedented expansion of power."

Other states may yet sign on to the lawsuit and in at least one other state, Virginia, the attorney general is considering filing his own lawsuit.

The lawsuits did not come as a surprise to the White House, where Press Secretary Robert Gibbs Monday addressed the possibility, saying he didn't think the suits would ultimately prove successful.

"For many decades, the Supreme Court has recognized Congress's authority under the commerce clause to regulate activities relating to interstate commerce," Gibbs said. "My advice from Counsel is that we'll win these lawsuits."

by RTT Staff Writer

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