Health Insurance Overhaul Sued

On March 23,  thirteen states (Alabama, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Louisiana, Michigan, Nebraska, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, and Washington) filed one lawsuit in the U.S. Court system for the Northern District of Florida challenging the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. This came minutes after President Barack Obama signed the comprehensive health insurance reform legislation into law. The attorneys general’s argument is centered on two elements:

1) the Act’s individual health insurance mandate is an unconstitutional expansion of Congress’ ability to regulate interstate commerce;

2) the penalties for being non compliant within the individual health insurance mandate violates the taxation powers provided to Congress under the Constitution.

In addition, U.S. states are challenging provisions of the new law that will create dramatic Medicaid spending increases for the financial burden of the states.

Governor Jan Brewer also announced her support for a legal challenge to the federal reform law in an initiative to amend the constitution to prohibit mandatory coverage requirements. The attorney general will not contest the federal law. He also suggested to Brewer that she use any additional funds to reinstate the Arizona health insurance KidsCare program, which was cut due to the budget deficit and eliminated coverage for over 35,000 children.

Senator Tom George and Representative Marc Corriveau have introduced four bills that would completely change the individual Michigan health insurance market. The bills amend Blue Cross Blue Shield from being the insurer of last resort. Therefore, it would require all plans to be guarantee issue and will include a reinsurance pool to reimburse carriers for eligible claims.

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