Ga. officially joins lawsuit against feds

ATLANTA – The state of Georgia has officially joined 19 other states in challenging a controversial health care bill Congress passed in March.

“Congress’s health-care bill will exact a huge cost on our state and curtail our economic growth,” the Atlanta Business Chronicle quoted Gov. Sonny Perdue as saying in a statement. “Congress has gone too far in infringing upon individuals’ rights by imposing burdensome regulations on all Americans.”

Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum filed the lawsuit March 23 in the Northern District of Florida. McCollum argues the health care law “infringes upon the constitutional rights of Floridians and residents of the other states by mandating all citizens and legal residents have qualifying health care coverage or pay a tax penalty.”

“We firmly believe the government has exceeded its constitutional authority and we are prepared to do anything in our power to protect the people from irresponsible and unconstitutional actions by the federal government,” McCollum said in a statement Friday. “As today’s filing indicates, our challenge continues to gain support.”

Perdue, a Republican, announced he would proceed with the lawsuit even though Georgia Attorney General Thurbert Baker, a Democrat who is running for governor, said he wouldn’t file such an action. In addition to the 20 states, the National Federation of Independent Business has joined in the lawsuit.

“Small business owners everywhere are rightfully concerned that the unconstitutional new mandates, countless rules and new taxes in the health care law will devastate their business and their ability to create jobs. They are also concerned about their personal freedoms,” Dan Danner, president and CEO of the National Federation of Independent Business, said in a news release. “This law is the first time the federal government has required individuals to purchase something simply because they are alive. If Congress can regulate this type of inactivity, then there are essentially no limits to what they can mandate individuals to do.”

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