There is more than one way to skin a cat. Iowa Governor Terry Branstad signed onto Florida’s federal health care lawsuit yesterday. They join 27 other states that are challenging the federal health care reform law in federal court. This number also includes Virginia which filed its own lawsuit.
The Florida lawsuit challenges the constitutionality of the individual mandate that would force Iowans to purchase health insurance or incur a fine. The lawsuit also challenges the Medicaid expansion that is costly to states. The health care reform law’s “one-size-fits-all” Medicaid approach would force states to cut other critical programs, according to the Branstad administration.
“I am signing on to this suit as the governor on behalf of the people of Iowa, because I believe Iowa taxpayers deserve to be heard on this critical matter,” said Branstad. “As we begin constructing our five year budget, there is no doubt that the current federal health care law will shackle Iowa taxpayers for billions in unfunded mandates.”
Branstad is picking up the ball that Iowa’s Attorney General, Tom Miller, should have carried. Miller complained yesterday that litigation should go through his office. Miller had filed a friend of the court brief on behalf of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Miller did concede that Branstad did have the right to pursue this, “However, in this unusual set of circumstances, given what is at stake for the public, Governor Branstad should have the ability to express his viewpoint as Governor.”
The motion to file and the second amended complaint is embedded below: