“unprecedented encroachment on the sovereignty of the states” contends states’ lawsuit against Obamacare
Page 4 of the 22 page lawsuit gives some examples of infringement upon the state Constitutions. One example about Florida:
It requires that Florida vastly broaden its Medicaid eligibility standards to accommodate upwards of 50 percent more enrollees, many of whom must enroll or face a tax penalty under the Act, and imposes onerous new operating rules that Florida must follow.
The lawsuit goes on to explain (using Florida as an example):
The Act requires Florida to spend billions of additional dollars, and shifts substantial administrative costs to Florida for, inter alia, hiring and training new employees, as well as requiring that new and existing employees devote a considerable portion of their time to implementing the Act
What was a partnership between the state and federal governments is now top-down control from the government according to the lawsuit:
Further, the Act converts what had been a voluntary federal-state partnership into a compulsory top-down federal program in which the discretion of the Plaintiffs and their sister states is removed, in derogation of the core constitutional principle of federalism upon which this Nation was founded
Because of the explanation above, the Act violates the 10th Amendment:
In doing so, the Act exceeds the powers of the United States and violates the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution.
The Plantiffs of the this lawsuit are seeking the following:
Plaintiffs seek declaratory and injunctive relief against the Act’s operation to preserve their respective sovereignty and solvency, and to protect the individual freedom, public health, and welfare of their citizens and residents.
On page 8, the lawsuit contends that the states’ did not agree to the current Medicade changes:
None of the Plaintiffs agreed to become a Medicaid partner of the federal government with an expectation that the terms of its participation would be altered significantly by the federal government so as to make it financially infeasible for that state either to remain in or to withdraw from the Medicaid program.
None of the Plaintiffs agreed to become a Medicaid partner of the federal government with an expectation that the federal government would increase significantly its control and reduce significantly that state’s discretion with respect to the Medicaid program.
None of the Plaintiffs agreed to become a Medicaid partner of the federal government with an expectation that, after the Medicaid program became entrenched in the state, the federal government would alter the program’s requirements to expand eligibility for enrollment beyond the state’s ability to fund its participation.
None of the Plaintiffs agreed to become a Medicaid partner of the federal government with an expectation that the federal government would exploit its control over Medicaid terms and eligibility as part of a coercive scheme to force all citizens and residents to have healthcare coverage.
Below is explanation of the charges incurred for not having mandatory health coverage as outlined by this lawsuit on page 9. It specifically mentions that illegal immigrants and people with certain “religious objections” will be exempt from the tax penalty for not having the mandatory coverage:
The Act mandates that all United States citizens and legal residents have qualifying healthcare coverage. If a person fails to do so, the federal government will force that person to pay a penalty, the amount of which will be increased gradually through 2016, reaching $750 per year up to a maximum of three times that amount ($2,250) per family, or 2 percent of household income, whichever is greater. After 2016, the penalty will increase annually based on a cost-of-living adjustment. Exemptions to the tax penalty only apply for individuals with certain religious objections, American Indians, those persons without coverage for less than three months, undocumented immigrants, incarcerated individuals, or some individuals with financial hardships.
On page 10, some interesting information in that if the Federal Government will quit partially funding the new HC Exchange after 2015, and it will be left to the states. The only way for a state not to participate is to drop Medicare, which would leave thousands uninsured (see below):
The Act requires states to expand massively their Medicaid programs and to create exchanges through which individuals can purchase healthcare insurance coverage. The federal government is to provide partial funding for the exchanges, but will cease doing so after 2015. Should a state not wish to participate in the exchanges, it can opt out only if it provides coverage for uninsured individuals with incomes between 133 percent and 200 percent of the federal poverty level, a higher income level than that which would be applied for participating states under the Act. The only other way for a state to avoid the Act’s requirements is to drop out of the Medicaid program, leaving millions of persons uninsured.
It goes onto explain that the Federal Government doesn’t fund the initial oversite and administration of the new Insurance Exchanges at the state level:
The federal government will not provide necessary funding or resources to the states to administer the Act. Nevertheless, states will be required to provide oversight of the newly-created insurance markets, including, inter alia, instituting regulations, consumer protections, rate reviews, solvency and reserve fund requirements, and premium taxes. States also must enroll all of the newly-eligible Medicaid beneficiaries (many of whom will be subject to a penalty if they fail to enroll), coordinate enrollmen with the new exchanges, and implement other specified changes. The Act further requires states to establish an office of health insurance consumer assistance or an ombudsman program to advocate for people in the new programs.
Using Florida again as an example, on page 14, the lawsuit says that Flordia can’t afford what the new universal healthcare plan wants, and that it violates its’ Constitutional sovereign status to not be controlled by the Federal Government through the Medicare program:
In sum, while the Act infringes on Florida’s constitutional status as a sovereign, entitled to cooperate with but not to be controlled by the federal government under the Medicaid program, the Act also will force Florida to cover more than one million additional persons and, in so doing, to spend billions of additional dollars, a price it simply cannot afford to pay.
Starting on page 15, the lawsuit outlines bullet points as to why the Federal Government is violating the 10th Amenment and is unconstutional. The main thing to note here is that this section mentions that the states would be “commandeered” to become agents working for the Federal Government to implement the regulatory scheme, yet at the states’ own expense.
Plaintiffs reallege, adopt, and incorporate by reference paragraphs 1 through 53 above as though fully set forth herein.
Plaintiffs cannot afford the exorbitant and unfunded costs of participating under the Act, but have no choice other than to participate.
The Act exceeds Congress’s powers under Article I of the Constitution of the United States, and cannot be upheld under the Commerce Clause, Const. art. I, §8; the Taxing and Spending Clause, id.; or any other provision of the Constitution.
By effectively co-opting the Plaintiffs’ control over their budgetary processes and legislative agendas through compelling them to assume costs they cannot afford, and by requiring them to establish health insurance exchanges, the Act deprives them of their sovereignty and their right to a republican form of government, in violation of Article IV, section 4 of the Constitution of the United States.
The Act violates the Tenth Amendment of the Constitution of the United States, and runs afoul of the Constitution’s principle of federalism, by commandeering the Plaintiffs and their employees as agents of the federal government’s regulatory scheme at the states’ own cost.
The main declarations of the lawsuit are that:
Declare the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act to be in violation of Article I of and the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States;
Declare Defendants to have violated the Plaintiffs’ rights as sovereigns and protectors of the freedom, public health, and welfare of their citizens and residents, as aforesaid;
More infringements of this government healthcare are further explained on pages 18 and 19 as follows:
The Act forces citizens and residents to have healthcare coverage or pay a tax penalty. In effect, the Act compels said persons to have healthcare coverage, whether or not they wish to do so, or be subject to sanction. The Act thus compels persons to perform an affirmative act or incur a penalty, simply on the basis that they exist and reside in the United States.
The Act is directed to a lack of or failure to engage in activity that is driven by the choices of individual Americans. Such inactivity by its nature cannot be deemed to be in commerce or to have any substantial effect on commerce, whether interstate or otherwise. As a result, the Act cannot be upheld under the Commerce Clause, Const. art. I, § 8. The Act infringes upon Plaintiffs’ interests in protecting the freedom, public health, and welfare of their citizens and their state fiscs, by coercing many persons to enroll in Medicaid at a substantial cost to Plaintiffs; and denies Plaintiffs their sovereign ability to confer rights upon their citizens and residents to make healthcare decisions without government interference, including the decision not to participate in any healthcare insurance program or scheme, in violation of the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States.
The tax penalty on uninsured persons under the Act unlawfully coerces persons to obtain healthcare coverage, thereby injuring the Plaintiffs’ fiscs, because many persons will be compelled to enroll in Medicaid at a substantial cost to Plaintiffs. As a result, the Act cannot be upheld under the Taxing and Spending Clause, Const. art. I, § 8.
In so coercing citizens and residents to have healthcare coverage, the Act exceeds Congress’s powers under Article I of the Constitution of the United States, and cannot be upheld under any provision of the Constitution.
WHEREFORE, Plaintiffs respectfully request that the Court: Declare the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act to be in violation of Article I, section 8 of and the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States;
Declare Defendants to have violated the Plaintiffs’ rights as sovereigns and protectors of the freedom, health, and welfare of their citizens and residents, as aforesaid;