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[ATG] AG: Legal challenge to individual mandate an important, worthwhile effort
Start Date: 6/28/2012Start Time: 12:00 AM
End Date: 6/28/2012End Time: 11:59 PM
Entry Description

INDIANAPOLIS -- The United States Supreme Court today ruled in the legal challenge to the federal health care law that 26 states including Indiana had filed. The Indiana Attorney General’s Office is carefully analyzing the multiple opinions from the Court to determine the decision’s impact and to provide legal advice to state government officials who are the Attorney General’s law clients.

Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller decided in March 2010 that Indiana would join the multistate legal challenge to the Affordable Care Act or ACA. The Court found the individual mandate is constitutional, and today Zoeller issued this statement:

“I would encourage everyone to maintain civility and respect the United States Supreme Court whether you agree or disagree with the Court’s opinion, which is being studied to discern its impact on Indiana Medicaid and the rights of patients concerning their health conditions and procedures. My office’s legal advice will be provided to state agencies and federal and state policymakers so they may decide how best to address specific circumstances families face,” Zoeller said.

“Congress imposed an unprecedented mandate on individuals to buy a commercial health insurance product or face a penalty. Bringing a legal challenge was therefore the only appropriate way for the states to raise this constitutional question to the Supreme Court to decide with finality, and it was important and worthwhile for Indiana to join in this challenge,” Zoeller added.

The Indiana Attorney General’s Office spent no tax dollars on outside lawyers, paid no legal fees and spent nothing additional beyond the agency’s annual budget approved by the Legislature in advance, in order to participate in the legal challenge in the trial court, federal appeals court and Supreme Court levels. All of Indiana’s work was done in-house by staff attorneys in the Attorney General’s Office. The 55-page report and analysis on the health care legislation that Zoeller and Solicitor General Thomas M. Fisher drafted in early 2010 at the request of U.S. Senator Richard Lugar anticipated some of the legal issues raised in the lawsuit, and that report served as Indiana’s contribution to the multistate litigation. 

The opinion handed down today involved three separate petitions in the lawsuit Florida v. HHS and was one of the most closely watched U.S. Supreme Court cases in decades. Emphasizing the importance of the case, the Supreme Court justices heard six hours of oral argument, over three days from March 26 to 28 – the longest oral argument duration in the Supreme Court in 46 years. Zoeller, as Indiana’s lawyer, attended the first day of arguments – March 26.

NOTE:

Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller’s report of February 2010 on the federal health care legislation, prepared at the request of a member of Congress under Indiana Code 4-6-8-2, is at this link:

http://www.in.gov/portal/news_events/files/IN_Atty_Gen_Impact_Analysis_of_the_Patient_Protection_and_Affordable_Care_Act.pdf

Contact Information:
Name: Erin Reece
Phone: 317.232.0168
Email: Erin.Reece@atg.in.gov
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Entry Type:
Press Release
Entry Category:
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  • IN.gov Category:
  • About Indiana
  • Family & Health
  • Law & Justice
  • Taxes & Finance
  • Agency Name
    Attorney General

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