Governor Barbour

May 14, 2010


Governor Haley Barbour, on behalf of the State of Mississippi, today joined the multi-state, bipartisan lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the federal healthcare law passed earlier this year.

“The Health Care Law passed earlier this year is an unprecedented expansion of federal power,” Governor Barbour said. “If Congress can constitutionally mandate that we all purchase health insurance, it can also force every American to buy a car or to invest in Treasury Bonds.”

Florida, the lead plaintiff in the case, has reached an agreement with its legal counsel to cap the costs of the litigation at $50,000. Joining in the lawsuit will cost Mississippi a fraction of that amount.

The lawsuit is based, in part, on the federal government exceeding its authority by forcing citizens to buy a specific product – in this case, insurance – and controlling the marketplace by determining how the insurance policies will be structured.

“This new law will ultimately force the state to raise taxes, as hundreds of thousands of new people will be added to our Medicaid rolls,” Governor Barbour stated. “The regulatory changes, and some of the accompanying costs, begin immediately.”

Mississippi Code 7-1-5(n) authorizes the Governor to bring suit on behalf of the State “if after first requesting the proper officer so to do, the officer refuses or neglects to do the same.” Governor Barbour asked the Attorney General to join the Florida lawsuit on behalf of the State, but General Hood refused to do so.

Governor Barbour said Michael B. Wallace of Wise Carter, Child and Caraway, P.A., will guide Mississippi’s role in the lawsuit, and Mr. Wallace has agreed to provide his expertise at no cost to the state.