Democratic attorneys general defend health reform law's legality

Eight Democratic attorneys general have issued a statement defending the constitutionality of the healthcare reform law and vowing to move ahead with its implementation after a federal judge struck it down Monday.


The statement reiterates some of the law's benefits for consumers, and points out that only two federal judges have ruled against the mandate that everyone buy insurance. Two other judges have upheld the law, and 12 have dismissed similar challenges.

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"We are confident that the constitutionality of the entire law will be upheld on appeal and ultimately by the United States Supreme Court," reads the statement. "In the meantime, the numerous health care reforms provided in the federal health reform law will continue to be implemented to the benefit of all Americans."

The statement will enable the White House and Democratic lawmakers to claim at least some state support for the law.

A majority of states - 26 - were part of the legal challenge in Florida that saw the law overturned last Monday, and several have vowed to stop or slow implementation. And 54 percent of Americans say they support giving states the right to back out of the law, according to a new Rasmussen Poll, which could lead to the law's collapse if it were allowed.

Signers include Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden, Vice-President Joe Biden's son and a co-chair of the Democratic Attorneys General Association. The eight AGs had previously banded together to file an amicus brief in the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in support of a Michigan judge's ruling in favor of the mandate.

The attorneys general who signed the statement are:
* Kamala Harris (Calif.);
* George Jepsen (Conn.);
* Tom Miller (Iowa);
* Douglas Gansler (Md.);
* Eric Schneiderman (N.Y.);
* Joseph "Beau" Biden (Del.);
* William Sorrell (Vt.); and
* David Louie (Hawaii).