Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum announced the development this week in the case filed March 23 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Florida. Governor Sonny Purdue announced in a separate news release that he had appointed a Macon, Georgia, lawyer to coordinate his state’s involvement in the lawsuit that claims the reform measure is an unconstitutional infringement on the state’s rights.
Earlier this month it was reported that Republican lawmakers are calling for the impeachment of Democratic Attorney General Thurbert Baker for refusing to file a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the federal health care reform bill (see GA Bill Would Require State’s Permission to Implement Health Reform).
”On behalf of the residents in Florida and the states joining our efforts, we are committed to aggressively pursuing this lawsuit to the U.S. Supreme Court if necessary to prevent this unprecedented expansion of federal powers, impact upon state sovereignty and encroachment on our freedom,” said Bill McCollum, who has organized the team of states challenging the bill. “We welcome Georgia to our efforts to protect the constitutional rights of our citizens as well as the sovereignty of our states. The federal government cannot mandate that all citizens buy qualifying health care coverage or be forced to pay a tax penalty – this is unconstitutional.”
Other states involved in the lawsuit include Florida, South Carolina, Nebraska, Texas, Utah, Louisiana, Alabama, Colorado, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Washington, Idaho, South Dakota, Indiana, North Dakota, Mississippi, Nevada, and Arizona. Virginia is pursuing its own litigation.
McCollum has said the health care reforms would add $1.6 billion to Florida’s spending on the Medicaid health program for the poor.