Cox files response in lawsuit challenging National Health Care Law

LANSING, MI--Attorney General Mike Cox today announced that Michigan has joined Florida, 18 states, and the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) in filing a response to the Obama Administration's motion to dismiss the lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of federal health care reform legislation.

''President Obama and Congress are out of step with Americans, and more importantly, out of step with the Constitution and state sovereignty,'' said Cox. ''If Congress gets away with this power grab, there are no limits to what they can do next.''

The response filed today comes on the heels of a ruling against the Obama Administration in the case involving Virginia's health care lawsuit. On Monday, U.S. District Court Judge Henry Hudson issued a ruling allowing Virginia's health care lawsuit against the federal government to move forward, noting that, ''Never before has the Commerce Clause and associated Necessary and Proper Clause been extended this far.''

The lawsuit by Michigan and nineteen other states was filed against the U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services, Treasury and Labor on March 23, 2010, minutes after President Obama signed the measure into law. The lawsuit, filed in federal court in the Northern District of Florida on March 23, alleges that the new law infringes upon the constitutional rights of Americans by mandating all citizens and legal residents have qualifying health care coverage or pay a tax penalty. By imposing such a mandate, the law exceeds the authority of Congress under Article I of the Constitution. Additionally, the tax penalty required under the law constitutes an unlawful direct tax in violation of Article I, sections 2 and 9 of the Constitution.

The lawsuit further claims the health care reform law infringes on the sovereignty of the states and Tenth Amendment to the Constitution by imposing onerous new operating rules that Michigan must follow as well as requiring the state to spend additional dollars without providing funds or resources to meet the state's cost of implementing the law.

The Department of Justice filed a motion to dismiss the case in June, claiming the individual mandate fell under Congress' ?taxing and spending' authority. This argument conflicted directly with comments made by President Obama during the debate on the health care reform bill, including the President's insistence on national television that the insurance mandate was ''absolutely not'' a tax.

''If the Congress really could mandate that everybody in the country do something by just calling the fine for not doing it a tax, they would have discovered that power a long time ago,'' Cox said. ''Congress cannot make you buy a product. They cannot force you to buy a Ford Fusion, and they cannot force you to buy health insurance as a condition of citizenship.''

The hearing on issues raised by the Obama Administration's motion to dismiss will be held on September 14 in Pensacola, Florida before Judge Roger Vinson.

A copy of the lawsuit filed in Florida by Michigan, nineteen states and the NFIB is available online at http://www.healthcarelawsuit.us.

Copyright © 2010 State of Michigan

Published: Thu, Aug 12, 2010