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Van Hollen to Join Constitutional Challenge to Individual Mandate to Purchase Health Insurance


Governor Walker’s Authorization to Attorney General Allows Wisconsin to Join Over Twenty Other States

Defending Constitution Against Federal Government Overreach


MADISON – Today, Governor Scott Walker authorized Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen to proceed, on behalf of the State of Wisconsin, with a legal challenge to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.  The Act requires individuals to purchase health insurance or pay a penalty.  According to Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen, this regulatory scheme is unprecedented for the federal government and unconstitutional:  


“The Constitution places limits on the power of the federal government, and these limits must be defended or they will disappear,” Van Hollen said.  “Never before has the federal government required an individual to either buy government-approved insurance or pay a penalty.  And nowhere does the Constitution authorize Congress to regulate in this manner.”


Twenty states so far have joined a multi-state challenge being brought in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Florida.   In that multi-state, summary judgment motions have been filed and argued.


In a related case brought by the Commonwealth of Virginia, a federal district court has ruled that the individual mandate is unconstitutional. 


Shortly after the federal health care bill was signed into law, Attorney General Van Hollen sought authority from Governor Doyle to challenge aspects of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. 


Authority for the action was not provided until Governor Walker took office. 


Attorney General Van Hollen expects to take action on behalf of the State of Wisconsin promptly.


A copy of Van Hollen’s request, and Governor Walker's authorization letter are available at: