Barbour promises Mississippi will not "sleep on its rights" - - The News for South Mississippi

Barbour promises Mississippi will not "sleep on its rights"


JACKSON, MS (WLOX) - Governor Haley Barbour has released new details on exactly how and when Mississippi will join the State of Florida's lawsuit over health care reform.

Barbour sent a letter to Attorney General Jim Hood Tuesday which, among other things, addresses Hood's concerns about the cost involved with the legal action. Hood has declined to join the multi-state fight over the federal health reform law passed by Congress.

The governor wrote, "My decision to challenge this legislation was not taken lightly... The legislation would prove disastrous for Mississippi's economy, its budget, and its taxpayers."

Leaders in 20 states have decided President Obama's health care legislation violates the constitution. Florida is taking the lead on the lawsuit and is working to refine it.

Barbour said he'll sign on once Florida files its amended complaint, which is expected to happen in mid-May.

Barbour told Hood, "You are certainly correct that challenging this act will be no easy task, especially as a matter of procedure. Success is uncertain, but I do not intend to ignore my duty simply because of procedural difficulty."

All the states taking part will have to pay a portion of the legal fees, but Barbour said the law firm retained by the State of Florida has agreed to cap their total fees at $50,000.

"I have also retained Michael B. Wallace of Wise, Carter, Child & Caraway, P.A., to advise me on the Florida litigation," Gov. Barbour wrote. "Mr. Wallace has agreed to provide his services at no cost to the State."

Click here to read Governor Barbour's full letter to Attorney General Jim Hood.

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