Gov. Barbour joins legal challenge to federal healthcare law - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Gov. Barbour joins legal challenge to federal healthcare law

JACKSON, MS (WLOX) -

JACKSON, MS (WLOX) - Governor Haley Barbour, on behalf of the State of Mississippi, Friday joined the multi-state, bipartisan lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the federal healthcare law passed earlier this year.

"The Health Care Law passed earlier this year is an unprecedented expansion of federal power," Governor Barbour said. "The Constitution does not give Congress or the federal government the authority to force every American to purchase health insurance."

Florida, the lead plaintiff in the case, has reached an agreement with its legal counsel to cap the costs of the litigation at $50,000. Joining in the lawsuit will cost Mississippi a fraction of that amount.

The lawsuit is based, in part, on the federal government exceeding its authority by forcing citizens of our state to buy a specific product - in this case, insurance - and controlling the marketplace by determining how the insurance policies will be structured.

"This new law will ultimately force the state to raise taxes, as hundreds of thousands of new people will be added to our Medicaid rolls," Governor Barbour stated. "The regulatory changes, and some of the accompanying costs, begin immediately."

Mississippi Code 7-1-5(n) authorizes the Governor to bring suit on behalf of the State "if after first requesting the proper officer so to do, the officer refuses or neglects to do the same."

Governor Barbour asked the Attorney General to join the Florida lawsuit on behalf of the State, but General Hood declined to do so.

Governor Barbour said Michael B. Wallace of Wise Carter, Child and Caraway, P.A., will guide Mississippi's role in the lawsuit, and Mr. Wallace has agreed to provide his expertise at no cost to the state.

Copyright 2010 WLOX. All rights reserved.

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