Attorneys general in Alabama, Florida, Nebraska, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Washington and Virginia have stated their plan to file lawsuits designed to stop the federal government from overstepping its constitutional powers in regard to
enacting and enforcing the newly signed healthcare reform bill.
According to Reuters, 10 of the attorneys general plan to band together in a collective lawsuit on behalf of the previously listed states, excluding Virginia. Meanwhile, Virginia Attorney General Kenneth Cuccinelli will file a lawsuit in federal court in Richmond , and said Congress lacks authority under its constitutional power to regulate interstate commerce to force people to buy insurance. The bill also conflicts with a state law that says Virginians cannot be required to buy insurance, he said in the story.
In addition to the pending lawsuits, bills and resolutions have been introduced in at least 36 state legislatures seeking to limit or oppose various aspects of the reform plan through laws or state constitutional amendments, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
So far, only two states, Idaho and Virginia , have enacted laws, while an Arizona constitutional amendment is seeking voter approval on the November ballot. But the actual enactment of the bill by President Barack Obama could spur more movement on the measures by state lawmakers.
Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum, a Republican candidate running for governor, said the mandate would cost Florida at least $1.6 billion in Medicaid alone.
All states would receive extra funding to cover Medicaid costs that are expected to rise under the reform, including 100 percent federal coverage for new enrollees under the plan through 2016.