Cox Files Constitutional Challenge to Federal Health Care Legislation
Contact: John Sellek or Joy Yearout 517-373-8060
Agency: Attorney General
March 22, 2010
LANSING - Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox today announced that Michigan has joined the State of Florida in a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of health care legislation passed by the U.S. House of Representatives Sunday night (H.R. 3590).
"Congress' attempt to force Michigan families to buy health insurance - or else - raises serious constitutional concerns," said Cox. "We will fight to defend the individual rights and freedoms of Michigan citizens against this radical overreach by the federal government."
Michigan joined several states in Florida's legal challenge to H.R. 3590. The lawsuit challenges Congressional authority under the U.S. Constitution to enact an individual mandate compelling Michigan citizens to purchase health insurance or face large fines.
Cox also expressed concern about the continued inclusion of the so-called "Cornhusker Kickback" in legislation. The "Kickback" allows the State of Nebraska to avoid paying its fair share of an expansion of Medicaid by forcing taxpayers in states like Michigan to pick up the $100 million tab.
In December, Cox joined a bi-partisan group of Attorneys General from across the country opposing the kickback and demanding Congress remove the unfair provision or potentially face legal action.
Will it fly? I think that depends on if the fine disguised as a tax is considered a tax or a fine. Direct Taxes are unfortunately constitutional. However, it is illegal for the feds to compel states to use their resources to enforce federal legislation. If that precedent is expanded, we have a shot.
Outside of that, the only thing we can hopeful is for some of the commerce clause abuses to be curtailed and for the long dormant 10th Amendment to have some teeth again.