opinion

What editorial writers are saying about lawsuits challenging health reform

Multiple state attorneys general are suing to overturn the health system reform law President Obama signed March 23.

Posted April 12, 2010.

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The states that are suing say the law, which had no Republican support in Congress, is unconstitutional and harmful. Virginia's attorney general filed his own suit, while others have united in a separate action. The editorials note 13 attorneys general because other states joined the lawsuit later. Some states also have joined the lawsuit despite the opposition of their attorneys general.

Sore losers: Health care lawsuits are a misguided continuation of the partisan fight

In Texas, Attorney General Greg Abbott [a plaintiff in the multistate lawsuit] used the same talking points as his Republican counterparts in about a dozen other states, charging that by mandating that all adults have health insurance coverage or be subject to tax penalties, the new law violates both state sovereignty and individual rights. ... Constitutional challenges against groundbreaking legislation are not new, and rarely get very far in court. ... Rather than devoting the legal resources of the state to waging a partisan rear-guard action to overturn it, our elected officials should be focusing on facilitating the upcoming expansion of medical insurance coverage to millions of our citizens who desperately need it. Houston Chronicle, March 23

Corbett's move could make some sick

We would never presume to know the heart of Attorney General Tom Corbett -- why he decided to join 12 other state attorneys general in a lawsuit to overturn the new health care reform law that would mean billions in benefits for Pennsylvania residents. We just wonder: What if today were Wednesday, May 19, instead of Thursday, March 25? What if it were a day after the Republican gubernatorial primary, in which Corbett is being challenged from the right? ... We're not saying our attorney general is using his office to make political points with the conservative base of his party, but we can see how some people might draw that conclusion. Still, Pennsylvania taxpayers might wonder, as we do, why their attorney general and would-be governor is using their money to block a law designed to help them get better health care coverage. Philadelphia Daily News, March 25

That crazy cooch is going after the Feds

Call him crazy, but our very own Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli is going after the federal government over health care reform, and we back him 100%. We have mixed feelings about the health care reform bill -- we will be happy if it helps people and lowers deficits as much as Democrats say. ... We are extremely uncomfortable with the notion of forcing people to buy health insurance, and that is the crux of Cuccinelli's complaint. ... We don't know if Cuccinelli will win his battle -- the federal government is a powerful behemoth and not easily defeated -- but regardless, somebody should be questioning the government's overreaching in this regard. We are proud that one of Virginia's own is leading the way. News & Messenger (Woodridge, Va.), March 24

Courts right place for health care

It's tempting to see the lawsuits by Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum and other state attorneys general against the new federal health care legislation as a political wrecking expedition, designed to undercut President Barack Obama for partisan advantage. That would be wrong. Politics may not be absent from the minds of these politicians; McCollum is running for governor. But there are legitimate constitutional issues raised by the legislation signed [March 23] by Obama. They will have to be clarified and settled by the U.S. Supreme Court. News-Press (Fort Myers, Fla.), March 24

Let other states sue over health care

Gov. Dave Freudenthal made the right decision ... when he said Wyoming isn't going to join several other states' legal efforts to overturn the nearly $1 trillion health care overhaul signed into law by President Barack Obama. ... There's no reason Wyoming should join them, primarily because it would be a waste of money. We have no objection if other states want to devote their resources to lawsuits, because that's their right. Presumably, however, whether one or many states were to prevail in the constitutional challenge, it would have the same effect on all states, including Wyoming. Casper (Wyo.) Star-Tribune, March 25

Mad about the mandate

The U.S. Supreme Court has held for seven decades that Congress (the elected representatives of the people) has broad authority to address economic matters that are national in scope. The health care system fits the description. ... Perhaps the U.S. Supreme Court, led by Chief Justice John Roberts, would topple all those years of precedent. If so, the episode would amount to a most glaring example of judicial activism, the tossing aside, too, of the immense authority of Congress to tax and spend. For now, the efforts of ... the state attorneys general and others have the appearance of a frivolous, or nuisance, lawsuit, something Republicans usually rush to pummel. Akron (Ohio) Beacon Journal, March 25

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