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January 18, 2011

Attorney General's Statement on Governor's Health Care Lawsuit Sign-On

(DES MOINES, Iowa)  On November 19, 2010 Attorney General Tom Miller, representing the State of Iowa, joined in an Amici Curiae (friends of the Court) brief supporting the federal government’s argument that the Patient Protection and Affordable Health Care Act (ACA) is constitutional.  The brief stated that the law will help states fulfill their goals of protecting and promoting the health and welfare of their citizens.

“Congress, under the powers granted to it under the Commerce Clause, has the full authority to enact legislation like the ACA that has an enormous effect on interstate commerce,” Miller said.

Today, as Governor of Iowa, Governor Terry Branstad signed on in support of the State of Florida v. United States Department of Health and Human Services, et al, lawsuit challenging the ACA.

According to Miller, the control and decision making concerning litigation involving the State of Iowa is within the authority of the Attorney General, not the Governor.  “However, in this unusual set of circumstances, given what is at stake for the public, Governor Branstad should have the ability to express his viewpoint as Governor,” Miller said.

The Governor’s action, subsequent to Attorney General Miller’s brief, puts Iowa in the position of both supporting and opposing the ACA.

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