Six more states have joined the coalition of 20 states that have filed a lawsuit against the Obamacare law that has prompted serious abortion-funding and rationing concerns for pro-life groups.
The six additional states, led by state attorneys general, joined Florida and 19 others, according to Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi. They are generally arguing that the Obamacare law is unconstitutional because of the individual mandate — the requirement that all Americans purchase health insurance, which could fund abortions either with taxpayer funds or premiums.
“It sends a strong message that more than half of the states consider the health care law unconstitutional and are willing to fight it in court,” she said. “I look forward to continuing to defend Florida’s families and businesses against this unconstitutional law and upholding the Constitution.”
A federal judge in Virginia ruled the individual mandate unconstitutional but two other federal judges ruled otherwise in other lawsuits — all of which are expected to make their way to the Supreme Court. Florida U.S. District Judge Roger Vinson is expected to rule late this month on his lawsuit but the early indication is he will join the Virginia judge in deciding against the Obamacare measure possibly in a summary judgment decision without trial.
Iowa’s new Republican Governor Terry Branstad instructed Iowa’s Attorney General to join the lawsuit, and said, “I am signing on to this suit as the governor on behalf of the people of Iowa, because I believe Iowa taxpayers deserve to be heard on this critical matter. As we begin constructing our five-year budget, there is no doubt that the current federal health care law will shackle Iowa taxpayers for billions in unfunded mandates.”
Those states that signed onto the lawsuit months ago are Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, Indiana, Idaho, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah and Washington.
In the Florida case, Vinson issued a written ruling saying the court needs to issue a decision on the question of whether or not it is a violation of the Constitution to force Americans to purchase health care insurance.
The key component of the decision Vinson issued concerns the individual mandate, and he appears sympathetic to those who oppose it, thus opposing the entire law.
“At this stage in the litigation, this is not even a close call…But, in this case we are dealing with something very different. The individual mandate applies across the board. People have no choice and there is no way to avoid it,” he wrote. “Those who fall under the individual mandate either comply with it, or they are penalized. It is not based on an activity that they make the choice to undertake.”
“Of course, to say that something is “novel” and “unprecedented” does not necessarily mean that it is “unconstitutional” and “improper.” There may be a first time for anything. But, at this stage of the case, the plaintiffs have most definitely stated a plausible claim with respect to this cause of action,” he said.
President Barack Obama’s administration countered that Americans should not be allowed to opt out of ObamaCare because every American requires medical care. They also claim the states do not have standing to file a lawsuit against ObamaCare and want the lawsuit thrown out and the case dismissed.
In another case, Michigan District Judge George Caram Steeh in Detroit ruled the mandate to get insurance by 2014 and the penalties states face for not implementing ObamaCare fully are legal.