The Obama Administration Begins Its First Legal Defense of Health Care Reform Bill
The Obama Administration has begun its first legal defense of the government-run health care bill, HR 3590. The defense was a response to the lawsuit filed by Michigan-based Thomas More Law Center, in which President Obama, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and Attorney General Eric Holder were named as defendants.
According to the federal Justice Department, "The health care industry operates in interstate commerce and there is a long recognized federal interest in its regulation." The government also claims that since the provision requiring insurance coverage does not go into effect until 2014, a court order to block the health care law should not be granted.
This Michigan case is just the first of many more to come. Several states, including Texas, are working on similar claims and plan to challenge the federal government on the grounds that Congress lacks the authority to mandate individuals to participate in an insurance plan.