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Governor Parnell Expresses Confidence in Health Care Lawsuit


August 6, 2010, Juneau, Alaska - Attorney General Dan Sullivan and 19 other state attorneys general and governors today filed a response to the Department of Justice's motion to dismiss in the lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the federal health care reform act.

"The health care act violates the tenets of federalism, in which powers not specifically granted to the federal government under the constitution are reserved to the states or the people," Governor Sean Parnell said. "This power grab includes an unprecedented mandate for individual Alaskans and other Americans to purchase a product in the marketplace or else pay a penalty, and it sets states up for explosive growth in their Medicaid budgets."

The Department of Justice filed a motion to dismiss the case in June, asserting, in part, that the states do not have standing to file the lawsuit and the lawsuit is premature. The states argued that they have standing to bring the lawsuit because the federal health care law negatively affects state sovereignty and provides additional stress on already lean state budgets. The states responded that resources are already being spent on planning and operational activities they must undertake to meet the requirements of the law.

The lawsuit was originally filed in federal court in the Northern District of Florida on March 23, minutes after the health care reform act was signed into law by President Obama. The hearing on issues raised by the motion to dismiss will be held on September 14 in Pensacola before Judge Roger Vinson. Earlier this week, a judge in a similar lawsuit in Virginia ruled against the Department of Justice's motion to dismiss, allowing Virginia's lawsuit to move forward.

A copy of response to the motion to dismiss will be available online at:

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