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Florida Takes Health Care Fight To Supreme Court

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(AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

(AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

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MIAMI (CBSMiami.com) – Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi announced Wednesday that the state has filed a writ of certiorari with the United States Supreme Court over the federal health care law.

The ink on the health care law wasn’t even dry when Florida, and more than 20 other states, sued to stop the implementation of the individual mandate portion of the new law.

The individual mandate requires people to have health insurance or face financial penalties.

Florida and other states said that was outside of Congress’ power enumerated in the U.S. Constitution. The Justice Department argued that the mandate was inside the realm of the commerce clause in the Constitution.

Attorney General Bondi said the state is asking the court to render a decision on the constitutionality of the mandate. Specifically, the state wants to know if the entire act must be struck down if the mandate is ruled unconstitutional, also known as severability.

Another issue Bondi talked about was what she described as the “Medicaid coercion issue.” Bondi and the states want to know if Congress can force states to expand Medicaid rolls “at the risk of losing all of our benefits if we don’t participate,” Bondi said.

Finally, Bondi wants the court to decide “whether the federal government can require states to give state employees a federally mandated level of health insurance coverage.”

Bondi said that the state expects the case to be decided to during the Supreme Court’s current term. But, if the case is heard next year, a ruling would most likely be delivered late in the year, possibly in October.

Being an election year, and still stinging over the Bush vs. Gore decision, the court may not want to take up the case until late next year.

But, with multiple lawsuits over the law now in the appeals court system, a ruling from the high court would once and for all answer all challenges to the health care act.

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