Sebelius Defends Health Care Reform Law, Files First Response to State Challenge

May 25, 2010 1:26pm

ABC News' Ariane de Vogue reports:

Last night the Obama administration filed its first brief responding to a state challenge to the new health care reform law, asking a federal judge in Richmond to dismiss Virginia’s claim.

The administration has two main arguments: First, Virginia has no legal standing to bring the case: "A state cannot, however, manufacture its own standing to challenge a federal law by the simple expedient of passing a statute purporting to nullify it. Otherwise, a state could import almost any political or policy dispute into federal court by enacting its side of the argument into state law," the brief reads.

"Virginia claims standing on behalf of its citizens to challenge federal legislation, but citizens of Virginia are also citizens of the United States."

Second, Congress acted appropriately within its authority under the Commerce Clause: "Virtually everyone at some point will need medical services, which cost money…these economic decisions regarding how to pay for health care services..have a substantial effect on the interstate health care market…Congress understood that virtually everyone at some point will need medical services, which cost money."

*The original post used the term "Obamacare." No offense was intended, but after complaints that the term is used as a pejorative, that was changed. Our apologies.

- Ariane de Vogue

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