Four Democratic governors on Friday sent a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder in which they expressed their support for the health care law signed by President Barack Obama earlier this week and condemned the state attorneys general who have filed suit against the new law, according to a news release.
Minutes after Obama signed the health care legislation into law on Tuesday, the attorneys general of 13 states filed a federal lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the new law. The suit, spearheaded by Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum (R), was filed in the Northern District of Florida. Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli also filed a separate suit challenging the law in the Eastern District of Virginia. Read the filings here.
The Justice Department has vowed to “vigorously defend” the health care law.
Here’s the full letter:
March 26, 2010
The Honorable Eric Holder, Attorney General
U.S. Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20530-0001
RE: State of Florida, et al v. United States
Dear Attorney General Holder:
On behalf of citizens of our states, we write to let you know that that we oppose the actions of the state Attorneys General who have filed a lawsuit to challenge the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. We believe their legal efforts will fail in court, unnecessarily delay the urgent need to get our citizens access to health care and waste our state tax dollars. As you prepare and deliver your defense of this landmark legislation, you have our commitment to work with you, at your request, to assist in this effort.
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is, in our view, the single most important reform of our health care system in decades. The bill gives American families and small business owners more control over their own health care. It shifts health care decision making authority away from insurance companies to the citizens whose health is at risk. It ends discrimination against people with pre-existing conditions and allows young people to remain covered by their parents’ insurance until age twenty-six. As our states struggle to balance budgets and maintain services, the savings introduced through this legislation are critical to our future.
We are ready to offer you any help you many need and we will stand by your efforts to protect this most historic improvement of health care for every citizen of this nation.
Governor Christine O. Gregoire, Washington
Governor Bill Ritter Jr., Colorado
Governor Jennifer M. Granholm, Michigan
Governor Edward G. Rendell, Pennsylvania