Ten US states to file suit against health care reform

March 22, 2010

Ten US states plan to file a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of health care reform as soon as President Barack Obama signs it into law, Florida's attorney general said Monday.

Republican Bill McCollum, who is running for governor in the upcoming November mid-term elections, led the charge to challenge a provision that would require most people to buy health insurance or else pay a fine.

He is joined by the Republican attorneys general of South Carolina, Nebraska, Texas, Utah, Pennsylvania, Washington, North Dakota, South Dakota and Alabama.

"The health care reform legislation passed by the US House of Representatives this last night clearly violates the US Constitution and infringes on each state's sovereignty," McCollum said in a statement.

"If the President signs this bill into law, we will file a lawsuit to protect the rights and the interests of American citizens."

Obama's Republicans foes have waged a political war on the historic health care overhaul and have vowed to repeal it should they retake the House and Senate in November mid-term elections.

The governor of Idaho signed a bill last week blocking federal mandates requiring individuals in his state to purchase health insurance.

Some 38 states have either filed or announced their intention to file similar legislation, according to the American Legislative Exchange Council, which opposes the health reform bill.

White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said there is "pretty longstanding precedent on the constitutionality of this."

Gibbs said it's typical for "big pieces of legislation" to face legal challenges and said the White House does not believe their opponents "will be very successful."

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