Pushback time: Idaho threatens to sue feds over insurance mandates

Idaho became the first state in the nation to reject Obamacare’s proposed mandated insurance coverage and order the state attorney general to sue the federal government if the controversial bill passes.

Republican Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter signed the groundbreaking legislation Wednesday. “What the Idaho Health Freedom Act says is that the citizens of our state won't be subject to another federal mandate or turn over another part of their life to government control,” Gov. Otter said during the bill signing ceremony.

Virginia was the first state to pass a similar bill reasserting the right of its citizens to decide for themselves whether or not to buy health insurance without having to pay a federal fine, but it has not yet been signed by the governor. However, in a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli warned that not only will the commonwealth challenge Obamacare in court, using the controversial “deem and pass” procedure to approve the Senate-passed healthcare bill “would raise grave constitutional questions,” and provide another way to challenge it in court.

Thirty-seven states, including Maryland, have introduced legislation based on The Freedom of Choice in Health Care Act, a model bill proposed by the American Legislative Exchange Council, citing states’ rights and the cost of Obamacare’s unfunded Medicare mandates. “It ensures that patients—not government officials—should decide which doctor to see, what treatments to get, and whether or not to get a second or third opinion.”

Constitutional scholars insist that U.S. District Court judges will uphold any federal insurance requirements under the supremacy clause of the U.S. Constitution. But Christie Herrera, ALEC’s health task force director, asserted that the insurance mandates in the Senate-passed bill are themselves unconstitutional.

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