Congressman Aaron Schock (IL-18) authored with the majority of the Illinois Congressional delegation a letter today to Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan asking her to join with the other 26 Attorneys General in the multistate lawsuit that has been filed challenging the Constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
"Last year, I organized a similar effort to encourage Attorney General Madigan to join with the other AG's, at the time, in challenging the Constitutionality of the current Health Care Reform law," said Schock. "Since then 26 states have come together in questioning the legality of this law, and it's past time Illinois joined in."
In the letter sent today, Schock noted the upcoming one year anniversary of the law's enactment and since then the legal rulings rebuking many of the provisions of the health care law. In the most recent example, U.S. District Judge Henry Hudson noted "the unchecked expansion of congressional power would invite unbridled exercise of federal police powers.'
In addition to the government overreach many of the letter's co-signers expressed as a major concern, the effect of the expansion of Medicaid to a state's budget that is already in turmoil is front and center on their minds. Illinois state lawmakers were recently forced to raise the state income tax 66%, in an attempt to close a budget shortfall. Many believe the expansion of another unfunded mandate is the wrong message to send, and that other ways should be explored before digging a deeper financial hole.
"Just this week the House voted to repeal the Health Care reform law, and I would urge my colleagues on the Senate side to repeal it as well," said Schock. "When you have 26 states, over half the country, questioning the legality aSchock, IL Congressional Delegation, Urge Illinois to Challenge the Job Destroying Health Care Lawnd blatant government overreach of this current law, then its more than past time to do something about it. The vote in the House this week was more than a symbolic gesture, it's a clear sign people are fed up with the way things used to be run in Washington."
Schock, IL Congressional Delegation, Urge Illinois to Challenge the Job Destroying Health Care Law
In March of 2010, Schock, along with others from the Illinois Congressional delegation sent a letter to Attorney General Madigan requesting that she add Illinois as a party to the multistate lawsuit against the Patient Protection and Affordable Care law.
The full text of the letter follows:
State of Illinois
100 West Randolph Street
Chicago, IL, 60601
Dear Attorney General Madigan:
We, the undersigned members of the Illinois Congressional delegation, write to you today to respectfully request that you join the 26 Attorneys General and the National Federation of Independent Businesses in the multistate lawsuit they have filed challenging the Constitutionality of P.L. 111-148, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, as amended by P.L. 111-152, the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act.
As we are approaching the one year anniversary of the law's enactment, it is clear that the law's requirement forcing all Americans to either purchase health insurance or pay a fine, commonly known as the 'individual mandate' is Constitutionally questionable. In his December 13, 2010 ruling in the Commonwealth of Virginia v. Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services U.S. District Judge Henry Hudson's ruling wrote:
"A thorough survey of pertinent constitutional case law yielded no reported decisions form [sic] any federal appellate courts extending the Commerce Clause or General Welfare Clause to encompass regulation of a person's decision not to purchase a product, notwithstanding its effect on interstate commerce or role in a global regulatory scheme. The unchecked expansion of congressional power limits suggested by the Minimum Essential Coverage Provision would invite unbridled exercise of federal police powers. At its core, this dispute is not simply about regulating the business of insurance- or crafting a scheme of universal health insurance coverage- it's about an individual's right to choose to participate."
We agree with Judge Hudson's ruling in the Virginia case and believe there is an equally important argument being made in the multistate lawsuit. With the support of over half the States' Attorneys General, the multistate lawsuit gives the people f Illinois a platform to be heard regarding their concerns over the unconstitutional aspect of the current federal health law.
An additional concern is the effect of the expansion of Medicaid to Illinois' fiscal situation. Just last week, Illinois lawmakers were forced to raise the state income tax by %66 so Illinois can raise enough revenue to close the budgetary hole, which was caused in part by the unsustainable Medicaid program. According to former Illinois Comptroller Dan Hynes, "in Illinois the primary addition to Medicaid rolls will be low income childless adults who currently are not covered by Illinois programs." Even taking into account he federal government's %100 match for the first years of eligibility for the newly eligible Medicaid enrollees, our experts have determined the total cost of covering this category of individuals will cost the state of Illinois upwards of $1.2 billion over 5 years. This cost, which is in addition to Illinois' current obligations, will inevitably lead to future tax increases, cuts in state spending or a combination of both.
It is important to note that we support legislation which reforms our healthcare system; however we do not support legislation which erodes at a person's individual liberty. The people of Illinois have a right to be heard and we respectfully request that you add Illinois as a party to the multistate lawsuit challenging P.L. 111-148 as amended by P.L. 111-152.
Judy Biggert (IL-13) Robert Dold (IL-10)
Randy Hultgren (IL-14) Timothy Johnson (IL-15)
Adam Kinzinger (IL-11) Donald Manzullo (IL-16)
Peter Roskam (IL-6) Bobby Schilling (IL-17)
Aaron Schock (IL-18) John Shimkus (IL-19)
Joe Walsh (IL-8)