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Obama Signs Healthcare Bill; Lawsuits Forthcoming
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President Barack Obama signed into law Tuesday morning the sweeping healthcare bill passed by Congress over the weekend. But rather than this being the endgame in the months-long healthcare debate, it appears to be just the beginning as a myriad of legal challenges are forthcoming. According to multiple reports, at least 12 states were expected to immediately file lawsuits challenging the constitutionality of the new law.

Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum told Bloomberg in this report that the requirement that individuals buy some form of health insurance violates the U.S. Constitution and also impedes on state’s abilities to provide other services because of the cost burdens.

According to the National Law Journal, two partners at Baker Hostetler have been enlisted as outside general counsel by several state attorneys general looking to overturn the law. David Rivkin Jr. and Lee Casey will be at the helm and, according to the report, Florida is expected to be the lead plaintiff in the suit.

  
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In Virginia, Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli called the law “an unconstitutional overreach of its authority.” He explained his position in a press release.

“With this law, the federal government will force citizens to buy health insurance, claiming it has the authority to do so because of its power to regulate interstate commerce,” he said. “We contend that if a person decides not to buy health insurance, that person — by definition — is not engaging in commerce, and therefore, is not subject to a federal mandate.”

At last count, the other states that say they will sue are Alabama, Florida, Michigan, Nebraska, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Virginia and Washington.

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