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Court hears case against federal health-care overhaul plan

October 18, 2010 - UNITED STATES

In August a federal judge in Richmond, Virginia, refused to throw out a lawsuit filed by the state's attorney general challenging the constitutionality of President Barak Obama's planned overhaul of the nation's health care system. An 18 Oct federal court hearing in the same city will decide whether the national health care law complies with requirements of the Constitution or exceeds the powers granted to Congress.

In August a federal judge in Richmond, Virginia, refused to throw out a lawsuit filed by the state's attorney general challenging the constitutionality of President Barak Obama's planned overhaul of the nation's health care system. An 18 Oct federal court hearing in the same city will decidewhether the national health care law complies with requirements of the Constitution or exceeds the powers granted to Congress. Oral arguments began in August in District Court in Richmond. The case represents an opening volley in the legal challenges by Republican-led states to the Democrat-led overhaul. Few observers expect the issue to be settled until the Supreme Court has weighed-in on the mandate that Americans buy health insurance by 2014 or face a fine. Regardless of the outcome at the District Court level, the case is all but certain to continue to the United States Court of Appeals and to the Supreme Court. The State of Virginia argues the healthcare measure is an unprecedented overreach by Washington that violates the founders' intention of a limited federal government. Attorneys for the White House counter that the mandate requiring Americans to buy health insurance is well within the constitutional power of Congress. Virginia prefaced its court case by passing a statute in July making it illegal to force residents to buy health insurance. The measure was passed by legislators explicitly to clash with the new federal law. Attorneys general in 20 other states have joined a suit filed in Florida that adds the assertion that the federal law encroaches on the sovereignty of the states by requiring them to expand Medicaid programs.(LAST UPDATED Aug 2010)

Changing Stance, Administration Now Defends Insurance Mandate as a Tax

Date written/update: 2010-10-18