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Georgia Joins The Fight Against Healthcare Reform

Written by Firm | May 15, 2010 | News

11alive.com

May 15, 2010
Posted by Keith Whitney

Georgia has now joined nineteen other states that have filed a lawsuit against the new healthcare reform laws that were passed earlier this year by Congress.

But it still won’t be state Attorney General Thurbert Baker’s office handling the litigation. The lawsuit contends the federal government overstepped its bounds on healthcare, both on individual rights and state sovereignty.

“For the first time congress has made citizens purchase a product and that exceeds congressional authority,” said attorney Josh Belinfante. “Second the role Congress had in the Medicaid program has been fundamentally altered in a way that does not respect states’ sovereignty and role in the federal system. And that’s unconstitutional. That’s being challenged.”

Belinfante is one of a small army of pro-bono attorneys who have stepped in at the request of Governor Sonny Perdue to fight the feds in court.

“I’m not aware of another time when 20 states have bonded together to challenge congressional action under the united states constitution,” added Belinfante. “And I think that speaks to the egregiousness of the act and the significance these states are going to have.”.

But Georgia Attorney General Thurbert Baker says the lawsuit doesn’t stand a chance. And that’s why he refused to participate.

“I’ve said from day one that this litigation will go nowhere,” said Baker. “This is litigation that at the end of the day loses. That’s why I took the position early on that it would be a waste of tax payer dollars to pursue litigation to overturn healthcare reform in Washington DC.”

Baker, who’s running for governor, says the law is clear… no matter your politics.

“We looked at the US constitution, we looked at the supremacy clause, the commerce clause, we looked at everything out there; all the arguments that are being raised,” Baker insisted. “And I could honestly find no basis upon which to bring this kind of litigation.”

The federal government is expected to mount a vigorous defense demanding the case be dismissed when it finally goes before a judge, which could take months.