Florida AG Celebrating Win in Fight Over Health Reform

A U.S. district court judge has upheld Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum's suit challenging the constitutionality of the federal health care reform law. The ruling almost guarantees the case will be decided by the Supreme Court.

Here at the capitol, the attorney general's team is celebrating what they call a resounding win for states' rights. In their view, health care reform is illegal, and they're prepared to go all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court to prove it.

Thursday, a federal judge in Pensacola ruled Attorney General McCollum's lawsuit can be brought to trial. McCollum, along with 19 other state attorneys general, are challenging two parts of the health care reform law: the individual mandate, requiring people to buy insurance and expansion of Medicaid.

A million more Floridians could be added to the rolls, and that could cost you, the taxpayer, in upwards of a billion dollars a year.

Deputy Attorney General Joe Jacquot says on both counts the federal government is overstepping its authority to tell Florida and her people what to do.

“This lawsuit is about the reach of the federal government, that it has gone beyond our constitution, beyond our notion of limited government, with the individual mandate, getting into people's lives, telling them what they have to go do," he said.

From here, McCollum will ask a judge to send the case to federal district court. That could happen by December 16th. But, both McCollum and feds expect the case to be argued before the Supreme Court, potentially sometime in 2012

Although McCollum's suit only challenges two pieces of the health care reform law, his office says the entire package could be struck down.

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