Parnell Calls for Delay of Health Care Law Implementation

Libby Casey, APRN – Washington DC

Alaska’s governor is calling on the federal government to temporarily suspend implementation of the health care overhaul after a judge in Florida struck down the law as un-Constitutional on Monday. Governor Sean Parnell says he’s concerned about rising health care costs, but he says solutions to the problem must be Constitutional.  Alaska is among the 26 states taking part in the lawsuit. A major point of contention is a provision requiring citizens to buy health insurance or face penalties. Parnell wants the government to suspend the law until the U.S. Supreme Court decides the matter.

The Obama Administration has pledged to appeal, and the case is expected to go to the Supreme Court.

A senior White House official told reporters in a conference call Monday that he’s confident the ruling won’t stand.  The Obama Administration is calling it a case of “judicial over-reach.”  White House officials say there’s no reason for implementation of the law to stop, and that the federal government will move forward instituting the law – as should the states. The White House notes that the Florida judge did not issue an injunction to stop the law from taking affect.

The controversial element of the law challenged in court, the “individual mandate” that people must buy health insurance, is not scheduled to kick in until 2014.

A dozen federal judges have dismissed other challenges to the health care law and two judges have upheld it.  A Virginia judge, however, found the “individual mandate” unconstitutional, but he upheld the rest of the law, and didn’t go as far as the Florida judge.

Download Audio (MP3)