KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

More States Join Lawsuits Against Federal Health Reforms

Business Week: Eighteen states are now challenging the new health law. "Indiana, North Dakota, Mississippi, Nevada and Arizona will be added to the suit filed March 23 by Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum, he said today in a statement."

"The states claim the legislation places an unconstitutional burden on their cash-strapped budgets with an expansion of state-run Medicaid. Virginia sued separately last month, contending the 'individual mandate' requiring people to buy health insurance exceeds Congress's powers. ... The case is State of Florida v. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 10-cv-00091, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Florida"  (McQuillen and Harris, 4/7).

Politico: Three Republican governors, "Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota, Jan Brewer of Arizona and Jim Gibbons of Nevada, are bypassing their Democratic state attorneys general to join the suit. ... Ordinarily, elected state attorneys general represent their states in such disputes." Gov. Pawlenty, "announced he would join the growing number of states suing ... shortly after state Attorney General Lori Swanson rejected his request to sue. … Swanson and the other Democratic attorneys general contend that the mandates fall within federal authority and are without legal merit" (Barr, 4/7).

Meanwhile, the New Orleans Times-Picayune reports that Louisiana Attorney General Buddy Caldwell is denying a media report that said "Caldwell had told some of his staff that he had agreed to join the litigation at [Gov. Bobby] Jindal's request so that the governor would not make additional spending cuts for the attorney general's office" (Scott, 4/7).

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