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Governor Parnell Hails Positive Ruling in Health Care Lawsuit


October 14, 2010, Anchorage, Alaska - Governor Sean Parnell today welcomed the conclusion by a federal court judge that the lawsuit by 20 states and the National Federation of Independent Business against the new federal health care law makes a "plausible claim" that a constitutional boundary was crossed with passage of the legislation.

"Today's ruling, rejecting the federal government motion to dismiss the case, shows that Alaska had a compelling reason to join this lawsuit," Governor Parnell said. "The argument is far from over, but the judge today ruled that Alaska and other states have stated a viable claim that the individual mandate violates the Commerce Clause." 

The ruling by a U.S. District Court judge in Pensacola, Florida, also clarified that even though the individual mandate to purchase health insurance does not kick in until 2014, the states nonetheless did not bring the lawsuit prematurely.

The opposing sides in the lawsuit will go forward to argue about whether the individual mandate and the expansion of Medicaid under the new law violate the constitution. A ruling is expected by the end of the year.

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