Categorized | Health

Hawaii joins amicus brief in support of health care act


The State of Hawaii has joined California, Connecticut, Delaware, Iowa, Maryland, Oregon, New York, and Vermont in filing an amicus brief in support of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

The brief seeks to affirm a Michigan U.S. District Court ruling upholding the Act.

In the brief, the states argue that the individual mandate portion of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which requires everyone to have a healthcare policy or pay a financial penalty, is a valid constitutional exercise of Congress’ power under the Commerce Clause.

Attorney General David Louie said “the purpose of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act – to provide greater access to affordable health care for those who need it – is an appropriate use of Congress’ power and serves a good purpose. The challenge to the individual mandate is without merit, and should be opposed.”

Gov. Neil Abercrombie supports the Affordable Care Act.

“The passage of national health care reform last year was a momentous step forward for our country and state. The Affordable Care Act preserved the best elements of what Hawaii already had under our Prepaid Health Care Act while improving quality and access to health care for Hawaii families. Under the Affordable Care Act, Hawaii has been awarded $22 million to help Hawaii families, including nearly 18,000 seniors to help pay for their prescription drug costs,” Abercrombie said.

“States across the nation, including Hawaii, are dealing with an unprecedented fiscal crisis in large part because of rising health care costs. States are relying on this major legislation to be implemented as it was passed last year. To change course now would compound the already daunting challenge of addressing increasing health care costs and providing quality health care to all,” he said.

The amicus brief has been filed in the matter of Thomas More Law Center v. Obama (No. 10-2388).

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