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Categorized | Reform

Legal Challenges to Reform Loom

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released the score of the health care reform bill with the package of reconciliation fixes. The legislation will cost $940 billion, reduce the deficit by $130 billion over 10 years, and cover 95 percent of Americans.

While political battles still loom in both the House and Senate before health care reform reaches the President’s desk, many are braced for potential legal challenges to reform.

First, the constitutionality of “deem and pass” has been called into question. POLITICO reporter Fred Barbash notes that Supreme Court rulings in 1983 and 1998 held that the only way to enact a law according to the Constitution is to pass a bill through both houses of Congress and have the President sign the legislation.

House Republicans have responded to the discussion of using what has been coined as the “Slaughter Solution” by proposing H. Res. 1188 to ensure an up or down vote on the underlying health care legislation.

In addition, Idaho Governor Butch Otter (R) signed a bill into law yesterday that directs the State Attorney General to file a lawsuit if the health care reform bill enacted by the U.S. Congress includes an individual mandate. As many as 30 other states are considering similar legislation. Even if both Houses pass health care reform legislation prior to the Spring recess, it is clear that the debate on health care reform will not be done.