(COLUMBUS, Ohio) -- Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine announced today that he has been notified that the plaintiffs challenging the constitutionality of the recently enacted healthcare law in federal court in Florida today filed a motion for leave to amend the complaint to add Ohio as a party plaintiff in that case. DeWine gave authority for that challenge last Monday, on his first day in office.
The motion seeks to add Ohio to the states involved in State of Florida, et al., v. United States Department of Heath and Human Services, et. al. In addition to Ohio, the motion seeks to add Kansas, Wyoming, Wisconsin, Maine, and Iowa to the growing number of states challenging the law, potentially bringing the total number of states in the case to 26. In a separate challenge, by the Commonwealth of Virginia, a federal judge already held part of the act unconstitutional.
"Simply put, the federal government does not have the power to force individuals to buy a product -- whether they want it or not -- or face a penalty," said Attorney General DeWine. "I look forward to working with Florida and the other states to challenge the constitutionality of the 'individual mandate' that requires individuals to purchase health insurance."
The lawsuit challenges the healthcare law's unreasonable burdens on the states and its unprecedented claim of federal power to require individuals across the country to go into the marketplace and purchase certain, federally-approved health insurance coverage or face financial penalties. That 'individual mandate' far exceeds the authority of the federal legislature under Article I of the United States Constitution and is not authorized by Congress' power "to regulate commerce … among the several states." The complaint asks the court to declare the act unconstitutional and to enjoin the federal bureaucracy from enforcing the act against Ohio and the other plaintiff states.
A copy of the motion can be obtained at www.OhioAttorneyGeneral.gov/HealthcareMotion.
Lisa Hackley: (614) 644-0508