State Capitol News
Mon May 17, 2010
Arizona Now Part of Lawsuit Challenging New Federal Health Care Law
Phoenix, AZ – 19 other states already have sued, contending Congress and the
Obama administration exceeded their authority by requiring most
individuals to obtain health insurance. Arizona lawmakers last
month voted to let Gov. Jan Brewer join that suit after Attorney
General Terry Goddard said he finds nothing illegal in the
federal law. Gubernatorial press aide Paul Senseman disagreed.
(For the first time in American history they're requiring
individuals to purchase a private product. That's never been done
before. And the enforcement mechanism is through the Internal
Revenue Service. So we're going to thousands of tax agents
tracking you down to make sure you have purchased a private
Goddard also said there's nothing unconstitutional in another
requirement that states maintain their existing health care
program if they want to continue to get federal Medicaid dollars.
He said there's no mandate: States that want the government's
money must live by its rules. Senseman, however, said Congress
knows Arizona can't live without those federal funds.
(And what this design is, this federal mandate, is truly that, a
complete micromanagement of a program, a mandate forcing states
to perform this program. They know full well that they could
never turn it down. And that is the design.)
Senseman said joining the suit will cost taxpayers here less than
$5,000. For Arizona Public Radio this is Howard Fischer.