Lawmakers speak out on health care bill's constitutionality - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Lawmakers speak out on health care bill's constitutionality

TYLER, TX (KLTV) -

By Courtney Lane - bio | email
Posted by Ellen Krafve - bio | email

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - Texas and nine other states are already joining forces to fight the health care bill. Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott says they are filing a lawsuit, challenging the measure's constitutionality. They say it is an unfair infringement and taxation that goes against everything our country was founded on. Abbott says Congress requiring everyone to buy health insurance or face fines is an unprecedented mandate.

"Never before has a court upheld a requirement that individuals must make a purchase of a good or service ordered by Congress," said Abbott.

Under the new health care system, Abbott says, the State of Texas alone would be burdened with about $20,000,000,000 in additional Medicaid costs over a 10-year period.

"By forcing Texans to spend $20,000,000,000 more in its Medicaid-based programs and in these healthcare based programs, it means either 'A' we're not going to be able to take care of other aspects of public safety, education, issues that are critically important to our fellow Texans or 'B' we're not going to be able to fulfill the goals and the mandates established by the federal government," said Abbott.

This is another part of their lawsuit - that the bill violates states' rights by forcing them to implement programs they cannot afford. Congressman Louie Gohmert agrees.

"I don't think the federal government has the right to usurp power that's reserved to the states and jam this stuff down their throats," said Gohmert. "This is an unfunded mandate that I don't know of a single state who can afford it."

Attorney General Abbott stresses they are in the early stages of the lawsuit process, but it is quickly gaining momentum. They are ready to sue the federal government as early as Tuesday.

Abbott says that even after the lawsuit is filed, he knows they will have to amend it again as they continue to learn what exactly the bill requires.

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