May 18, 2010 — A national group representing small businesses has signed onto a federal lawsuit filed by officials from 20 states that challenges the constitutionality of the new healthcare reform law, particularly its mandate for individuals to obtain insurance coverage.
An amended complaint filed last week in a federal district court in Pensacola, Florida, adds the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) to the list of plaintiffs. Two other new plaintiffs are the owner of an auto repair shop in Florida and a resident of Washington State, both of whom object to the requirement to carry health insurance beginning in 2014, according to the complaint.
In a press release, the NFIB stated that it seeks to increase healthcare coverage for more Americans, but not at the expense of constitutional freedoms, which it accuses the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) of doing.
"The individual and employer mandates, onslaughts of new taxes, and onerous paperwork requirements in this unconstitutional law will devastate small businesses," the NFIB stated. It added that the individual mandate is "the first time the government is telling individuals they have to do something simply because they are alive."
The plaintiffs are the attorneys general of Alabama, Alaska, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Louisiana, Michigan, Nebraska, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, and Washington and the governors of Arizona, Georgia, Mississippi, and Nevada. In addition, the attorney general of Virginia has filed a similar suit in a Virginia federal court. All of the state officials are Republicans except for James Caldwell, the attorney general of Louisiana, who is a Democrat.