AG Van Hollen: Joins health care challenge

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Bill Cosh 608/266-1221

Wisconsin One of Six States that Request to be Added to the Florida Lawsuit

MADISON – Carrying through on an earlier promise, Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen announced today that Wisconsin along with five other states have taken the initial step to join the legal challenge to the federal health care law currently pending in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Florida.

Iowa, Ohio, Kansas, Wyoming and Maine are also requesting to join the suit.

“The Constitution places limits on the power of the federal government, and these limits must be defended or they will disappear,” Van Hollen said. “Never before has the federal government required an individual to either buy government-approved insurance or pay a penalty. And nowhere does the Constitution authorize Congress to regulate in this manner.”

The Amended Complaint challenges two main features of the Act: (1) the “individual mandate,” which requires that by 2014 U.S. residents must purchase government approved health insurance or face a tax penalty; and (2) conversion of Medicaid into a federally-imposed universal healthcare regime.

The complaint requests that the Act be declared unconstitutional, declared to exceed Congress’ powers, and that the defendants be enjoined from enforcing the Act.

Twenty-six states have now entered into the multi-state challenge in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Florida. In that challenge, summary judgment motions have been filed and argued.

In a related case brought by the Commonwealth of Virginia, a federal district court has ruled that the individual mandate is unconstitutional.

A link to today’s filing is available at:

Shortly after the federal health care bill was signed into law, Attorney General Van Hollen sought authority from Governor Doyle to challenge aspects of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. A copy of Van Hollen’s request is available at:

Authority for the action was not provided until Governor Walker took office. A copy of his authorization letter is available at: