20 States Up for Health-Care Challenge, but Bill McCollum, Pam Bondi Look to Get More

Florida Republicans ask 13 more states to join challenge of Obama-backed measures
By: Kevin Derby | Posted: November 19, 2010 4:05 AM

On Thursday, incoming Attorney General Pam Bondi and outgoing Attorney General Bill McCollum released a letter on which they collaborated, encouraging current and incoming attorneys general and governors across the nation to join the suit McCollum launched against new federal health-care laws.

Bondi made continuing the challenge to the new health-care laws backed by Barack Obama one of the cornerstones of her campaign, attacking her Democratic opponent Dan Gelber for opposing McCollum’s lawsuit.

With 20 states and the National Federation of Independent Businesses already backing the challenge, the two Florida Republicans sent the letter out to three newly elected Republican governors: Paul LePage of Maine; Tom Corbett of Pennsylvania; and Matt Mead of Wyoming. McCollum and Bondi also wrote to two current incumbent attorneys general -- J.B. Van Hollen of Wisconsin and Robert Cooper of Tennessee. The Floridians also sent out the letter to eight incoming Republican attorneys general: Luther Strange of Alabama; Tom Horne of Arizona; Sam Olens of Georgia; Derek Schmidt of Kansas; Bill Schuette of Michigan; former U.S. Sen. Mike DeWine of Ohio; Scott Pruitt of Oklahoma; and Alan Wilson of South Carolina.

“We write to ask you to consider joining the 20 states in the ongoing federal health-care lawsuit, Florida vs. U.S. Health and Human Services,” wrote McCollum and Bondi. “As litigation over the federal health-care act was a critical issue in many of your campaigns and elections across the country, we want to continue to send a strong signal concerning the role of the states in our constitutional framework.

“Having a majority of the states litigating our constitutional rights is a powerful message,” continued McCollum and Bondi. “Federalism and state sovereignty is ingrained in our constitutional structure both from the specific, enumerated powers of the federal government and from right of states protected under the 10th Amendment. The federal health-care act is a significant threat to the Constitution, and we hope a united front of states will demonstrate the vital necessity of the balance of power between the federal government and states as achieved by the framers.

“We feel, as many of you do, that it is incumbent particularly upon attorneys general to defend the principles of federalism under our Constitution,” wrote the two Florida Republicans. “We also share your concerns about the significant impact that the federal health-care law, as an unfunded mandate, will have on your state budgets.”

McCollum and Bondi invited the 13 officials to join the oral argument in the case which will take place at a federal district court in Pensacola on Dec. 16.


Reach Kevin Derby at or at (850) 727-0859.

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