Monday, March 22, 2010

More Healthcare Sourpusses

Note, certain attorneys general have been plotting suits for a while.

The next chapter in the health care fight will play out not only in the midterm elections, but also in the courts. Attorneys general in three states — Virginia, Florida and South Carolina — have indicated they will file legal challenges to the measure, arguing that its requirement that individuals buy insurance is a violation of the Constitution. In an interview Sunday, the Virginia attorney general, Ken Cuccinelli, said he intended to base his challenge on two grounds: that the federal bill conflicts with a newly passed state law that says no Virginian may be compelled to buy insurance, and that Congress does not have authority to impose the mandate under its powers to regulate interstate commerce, as Democrats contend.

“This is such an incredible federal overreach,” Mr. Cuccinelli said, but added that he did not plan to ask the courts for an order that would prevent the bill from going into effect because the individual mandate does not take effect until 2013. “On our basis for a constitutional challenge, there’s no rush,” he said.

The White House and Democrats were preparing to counter the legal arguments and coordinate a state-by-state response to any prospective challenges. For his part, aides said, Mr. Obama will lead the effort to define the bill, but also will shift his focus to the economy and jobs. A campaign, featuring Mr. Obama and examples of people who benefited from health care, will take place in the coming months. NYT