Immediately after the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was signed into law on March 23, 2010, 13 Attorneys General filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, U.S. Department of Treasury
and the U.S. Department of Labor alleging the Health Care Reform law signed by the President was unconstitutional.
The amended complaint currently features 26 state plaintiffs; additionally, the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) joined the lawsuit as a co-plaintiff on behalf of its members nationwide.
The lawsuit, filed in the federal court’s Northern District of Florida on March 23, alleges the new law infringes upon the constitutional rights of Floridians and residents of the other states by mandating all citizens and legal residents have qualifying health care coverage or pay a tax penalty. By imposing such a mandate, the law exceeds the powers of the United States under Article I of the Constitution. Additionally, the tax penalty required under the law constitutes an unlawful direct tax in violation of Article I, sections 2 and 9 of the Constitution.
The lawsuit further claims the health care reform law infringes on the sovereignty of the states and Tenth Amendment to the Constitution by imposing onerous new operating rules that Florida must follow as well as requiring the state to spend billions of additional dollars without providing funds or resources to meet the state’s cost of implementing the law. This burden comes at a time when Florida faces severe budget cuts to offset shortfalls in an already-strained budget.
The plaintiffs include:
NFIB (National Federation of Independent Business)