Senators, Economists, Health Groups To Submit Briefs In States’ Suit Against Reform Law
Bloomberg: "Eight U.S. senators, along with Representative John Boehner and 35 economists, won the right to submit their arguments in a lawsuit by 20 states seeking to undo the Obama administration's health-care overhaul. U.S. District Judge Roger Vinson in Pensacola yesterday granted [the] requests by the eight Republican members of Congress ... Nineteen states have joined lawsuit brought by Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum, who claims the health-care statute is overbroad and unconstitutional. ... The senators said in their filing that they are 'in the best position to underscore where Congress legislates without authority,' as the states allege was done in mandating individuals must obtain health care coverage" (Harris, 11/13).
The Washington Post: "Friday was the deadline for proponents and critics to ask the judge presiding over the case to let them submit briefs in the largest of several lawsuits that have been lodged across the country. ... In their legal filing, [Senate Minority Leader Mitch] McConnell and seven other Republican senators renew an argument they made during the congressional debate over the bill. Requiring most Americans to buy health insurance or risk a fine, they contend, goes beyond the power the Constitution gives to Congress under the commerce clause. It amounts to 'an impermissible federal police power' of a kind the Constitution gives only to states, they write."
"In contrast, the economists coordinated by Harvard health economist David Cutler, the campaign adviser, argue that 'reform of the health care system is essential to constraining the growth of health care spending and providing security to all Americans.' And, they write, 'broadly based health insurance is essential in any reform of the health care system in this country'" (Goldstein, 11/13).
Politico: "Several states that support the health law want to weigh in, too. Oregon, Iowa and Vermont argue that a ruling that the health law is unconstitutional 'would have a tremendous and deleterious effect' on the states. The opponents 'overstate the Act's costs, disregard its substantial benefits, and minimize the obstacles to expanding health care insurance coverage through a patchwork of individual state actions [they wrote]. ... In addition, the governors of Colorado, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Washington 'concluded the problems of health care costs needed to be addressed by Congress.' ... Several other associations are also seeking to weigh in, including the American Academy of Pediatrics, Small Business Majority Foundation, American Civil Rights Union, American Association of People with Disabilities, Family Research Council and Young Invincibles" (Haberkorn, 11/12).
Modern Healthcare reports that six "prominent hospital and health-system associations" are asking "for permission to file a friend-of-the-court brief" to support the law. "The groups, including the American Hospital Association, the Catholic Health Association of the United States and the Federation of American Hospitals, contend that they have a vested interest in the outcome of a lawsuit brought by officials from 20 states that challenges the constitutionality of the health reform law" (McKinney, 11/12).