State-Plaintiffs to the twenty-six state lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of Obamacare filed a US Supreme Court brief yesterday. The brief argued that Obamacare unconstitutionally expands Medicaid. Congress, through the law, has threatened loss of federal funding if states don’t expand their Medicaid programs. States essentially have little alternative other than to continue participating in the program. States have argued the expansion is an abuse of federal authority and an overreach of government power.
The Obama administration has previously argued that the Medicaid provision is constitutional. Their Medicaid brief is due by February 10. The administration filed its main brief for the lawsuit late last week, vowing that it is within the constitutional powers of Congress to require Americans to buy insurance by 2014 or face penalties (the individual mandate).
States have continued to argue that if the Supreme Court strikes down the individual mandate, it must also strike down the entire law as the individual mandate is the centerpiece of the legislation.
The Supreme Court will hear three days of oral arguments on March 26-28. The individual mandate is scheduled to be discussed on the second day with a court ruling likely by the end of summer.
The NC legislature has yet to override HB 2, the Protect Health Care Freedom Act though it has filed an amicus brief in support of the Florida lawsuit.