States Respond in Health Care Overhaul Lawsuit

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Twenty states and the nation's most powerful small business lobby are going to court Friday. They're responding to the Obama administration, which is trying to dismiss their lawsuit challenging the new health care law.

The suit was filed in U.S. District Court in Pensacola, Fla. According to the Justice Department, that court does not have jurisdiction over some of the claims in the lawsuit.

The key issue in the suit is whether or not the government require people to buy health insurance and fine those who don't.

"The court must hear the case to preserve individual liberties granted through the Constitution," said Karen Harned, executive director of the Small Business Legal Center of the National Federation of Independent Business.

"The federal government does not have the authority to regulate an individual's decision to do nothing. If they did, then they could force us to purchase any product they want," she said.

Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum is leading the legal challenge. Other states that have joined the lawsuit are Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, Indiana, Idaho, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah and Washington.

U.S. District Judge Roger Vinson has scheduled a hearing for Sept. 14 to consider arguments on the motion to dismiss.

*Originally published August 6, 2010.


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